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" The Village Blacksmith; 1 " The Story of the English Pope? 
" St. Bridget of Sweden? etc. 


New York 






ii. joanna's childhood ... 17 

in. petrarch's first visit to Naples 33 









xi. joanna's acquittal and its 

RESULTS ..... I58 













Joanna's second widowhood 












joanna's fourth marriage . 
















3 2 7 



33 6 






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queen joanna Photogravure Frontispiece 




Leonardo da vinci) . . . Photogravure 44 







URBAN V 244 













" For she was beautiful ; her beauty made 
The bright world dim, and everything beside 
Seemed like the fleeting image of a shade." 


THE subject of this biography was, according 
to all accounts, one of the loveliest women 
of all time, but there is much difference of opinion 
among historians about her character. Some of 
her biographers regard her as a saint and a 
martyr, a victim to calumny ; others have cast 
the vilest reproaches against her, even suggesting 
that she was, as her detractors maintained, one 
of the conspirators in the assassination of her 
first husband ; but all are agreed that she was 
supremely beautiful and exceedingly talented. 

Joanna I. of Naples, whose romantic story re- 
sembles in many respects that of Mary Queen of 
Scots, with whom she is often compared, is said 

2 The Beautiful Queen 

to have been the most beautiful Queen that ever 
lived. The theme of poets, whose friend and 
liberal patroness she was, all Europe rang with her 
praise in the middle of the fourteenth century, 
when she was known in all the foreign courts of 
Europe as "la douce Reine." Her own court 
was magnificent and highly civilised and refined ; 
it attracted the principal men of genius of the age, 
poets, of whom Petrarch was the first, and writers, 
with Boccaccio as chief, frequented it. 

If it be true that the women and the countries 
that have no history only are happy, we may rightly 
infer that intensely unhappy must have been the 
" sweet Queen " whose story is related in the 
following pages, and the kingdom over which she 
ruled, for their history during the whole of her 
reign, from 1343 to 1382, was most exciting and 
often dramatic in its interest. 

The scene is constantly changing from the luxury 
of the most brilliant court in Europe to the hard- 
ships of the battle-field, from the gay songs of the 
troubadour to the war-cry of the barbarian invader, 
from palace to prison, from the ballroom to the 
torture-chamber, from the love-stories of brave men 
and lovely women to the devastating ravages of 
the Plague, from that " fragment of Heaven vouch- 
safed to earth, Naples," to the fiends that in- 
habited it. 

The mysteries of history are more enthralling 

Introductory 3 

than the mysteries of fiction, which only remain 
mysteries to the end of the volume, while most 
of the former remain unsolved to the end of time. 
The central event of the reign of Joanna, the 
murder of Andrew of Hungary, is one of the 
unguessed mysteries of history : we look " down 
the long arches of the years," and we see historians 
attempting to solve it, some accusing Joanna — who 
was certainly innocent of consenting to it ; others 
fixing the guilt upon Louis of Taranto, Joanna's 
second husband ; others on Charles of Durazzo ; 
others again on Philippa the Catanese, and her grand- 
daughter Sancha ; and yet others on the Countess 
of Durazzo, — all of whom are dramatis fersona in 
the drama we are about to describe ; but the actual 
murderers will never be known — probably they were 
some hired assassins. One thing is certain : there 
was a plot to assassinate Andrew the Hungarian, 
and it succeeded ; but who all the chief conspirators 
were can never be certainly affirmed, though we may 
be able to fix upon them with a high degree of 

Just as difficult is it to get a true picture of a 
Queen whose biographers vary so much in their 
estimation of her character, and this from reasons 
national, political, and religious. The fact that in 
her later years Joanna was unfortunately the partisan 
of the anti-pope Clement VII. prejudiced some 
writers so deeply against her that their judgment 

4 The Beautiful Queen 

of her character was completely warped. The 
gentle, learned, and refined Pope Clement VI. was 
her best friend and a firm believer in her innocence, 
while the haughty, passionate Urban VI., although 
a Neapolitan himself, was one of her bitterest 

It is gready to be regretted that neither of her 
celebrated contemporaries, Petrarch and Boccaccio, 
ever wrote her biography, for both knew her in- 
timately, and were in a position to throw light on 
her character, and on the mystery which darkened 
her youth and cast a shadow on the whole of her 
life. Both of these men of genius had a great 
admiration for her, especially Petrarch, who was 
one of her domestic chaplains. One of the later 
biographers of this " famous princess — as famous 
as ever lived" — Giannone, calls her "the wisest 
of princesses, the Light of Italy, and the Jewel 
of the World." 

Before we begin to tell the story of her life, it 
will be as well to clear the ground by giving a brief 
sketch of her immediate predecessors on the throne, 
and, to help to the better understanding of sub- 
sequent events, to show the relation in which she 
stood to Andrew of Hungary and the princes of 
Taranto. As many readers dislike retrospective 
writing, this shall be done as shortly as possible. 

The crown of Naples passed from the house 
of Swabia to the house of Anjou in 1269, when 

Introductory 5 

Charles of Anjou was invested with the Two 
Sicilies — that is, the island of Sicily and the kingdom 
of Naples — by Pope Clement IV. 

Manfred, the illegitimate son of Frederick II. of 
Swabia, was then acting as Regent for his nephew 
Conradine, at that time a minor, and he sent am- 
bassadors to Charles I. to try to avert the loss of 
the Neapolitan throne. Charles's reply was more 
forcible than polite. " Go," he said, " and tell the 
Sultan of Lucera from me, that I will either send 
him to hell, or he will send me to Paradise." 

Manfred was subsequently slain at the battle 
of Benevento, and Charles I., after being crowned 
in Rome, proceeded without further opposition 
to Naples ; but young Conradine now attempted to 
retain possession of his throne, aided by the Duke 
of Austria, and falling into Charles's hands was 
executed with seven or eight of his followers on 
a scaffold covered with crimson velvet and erected 
in the market-place of Naples. 

Charles of Anjou, a bold and ambitious king, 
was succeeded by his son, Charles II., Prince of 
Salerno, who at the time was a prisoner in Spain 
and only obtained his liberty two years after his 
father's death, on condition of leaving his three 
elder sons as hostages in Spain, where they were 
compelled to remain twelve years. 

Charles II. was a true father to his people, and 
administered the government of his kingdom with 

6 The Beautiful Queen 

a strict sense of justice, not suffering the Neapolitans 
to be oppressed by Provencal adventurers, as they 
had been in his father's reign. 

In the fourteenth century kings transferred their 
rights to kingdoms, just as fathers divided their 
property among their children — by will ; and 
Charles II., whose wife, Maria of Hungary, had 
brought him the Hungarian crown, left Hungary to 
the heirs of his eldest son, Charles Martel. His 
second son, St. Louis, the Bishop of Toulouse, 
died in his father's lifetime, at the age of twenty- 
three, and was afterwards canonised. To his third 
son, Robert, he left the Two Sicilies — that is, the 
island of Sicily and the kingdom of Naples — and 
also the duchies of Provence and Piedmont. To 
his fourth son he left the principality of Taranto, 
which embraced nearly half the kingdom of Naples, 
and to his fifth son, afterwards the Duke of Durazzo, 
a considerable part of the remaining half, so that 
the King of Naples was really only the chief of 
princes who, if they combined against him, were 
as powerful as himself. 

Charles Martel's descendants never liked the dis- 
position of Charles II. 's dominions, and the great 
tragedy of Joanna's life was due in a large measure 
to the fact that the Hungarians were ever en- 
deavouring to gain possession of Naples. Thus we 
find Canrobert of Hungary, son of Charles Martel, 
claimed the throne of the Two Sicilies as his right 

Introductory 7 

on Charles II. 's death, and the case was pleaded 
before Pope John XXIL, who decided in favour of 
Robert, granting him also Provence and Piedmont. 

The Neapolitans had cause to be very grateful to 
the Pope for this decision, for Robert proved an 
excellent king, and earned the titles of the Wise and 
the Good from his subjects, by whom he was greatly 
beloved. In 1309, the year of Charles II. 's death, 
Pope Clement V. transferred the Papal See and the 
Curia or Papal court from Rome to Avignon, which 
being in Provence was within the dominion of the 
King of Naples : this move very much weakened 
the temporal power of the Popes in Italy, and left 
Rome forlorn and deserted, a prey to her turbulent 

Robert, with his two brothers, Charles and 
St. Louis, had only been liberated from their 
captivity in Spain a few years before he came to the 
throne. During his imprisonment he had acquired 
studious habits, and a great love of literature which 
never afterwards forsook him, and which made him 
a great patron of learning and learned men, so that 
his court became the most intellectual in Europe, 
and the resort of men of genius, who found in 
Robert the Wise a liberal and powerful protector. 

He gathered together at enormous expense the 
richest library in Europe, and placed it under the 
care of Paul of Perugia, one of the greatest scholars 
of his age. He was indeed almost too passionately 

8 The Beautiful Queen 

fond of books for a sovereign in those warlike 
times, and used to read even in his walks. He 
was a philosopher, a theologian, and a physician, 
but he had his limitations, for he despised poetry 
and was unacquainted with the works of his great 
contemporary, Dante. He was also a brilliant 
soldier, and is said to have been an excellent orator. 

He married, at the age of eighteen, Violante, 
Princess of Aragon, by whom he had an only son, 
Charles Duke of Calabria, the father of Joanna, to 
whom he was most tenderly attached, and whom he 
treated more as a brother than a son, making him 
his companion and confidant, and entrusting him 
from his earliest youth with the government of 
Naples, from which he was himself often called away 
on military business. 

The Duke of Calabria was neither so learned a 
student nor so celebrated a soldier as his father, but, 
like his grandfather Charles II., he was distinguished 
for his justice — a quality which he transmitted to 
his daughter Joanna in an eminent degree. Two 
anecdotes are told of him in connection with this 

He was in the habit of visiting all his dominions 
once a year, to see that his humbler subjects were 
not oppressed by the great barons, and on one 
occasion he discovered that a certain Count had 
taken an estate by force from a vassal, because it 
afforded a pleasant site for his own residence. 

Introductory 9 

Charles sent for the Count, and praising the lovely 
view and beautiful situation of his house, begged him 
as a friend to give it up to him, that he might build 
a royal palace there, promising to pay the full price 
for the property. The Count angrily refused to do 
anything of the kind ; but said if the Duke chose to 
take it by force he must do so, but, as he was famed 
for his justice, he did not fear this alternative. 

The Duke replied, " Now you know what your 
vassal must feel ; and unless you restore his lands 
immediately, I will take your head as well as your 
estates." Needless to say, the Count at once made 
restitution to his vassal. 

Another of the Duke's customs was to sit every 
day in the palace of justice, in front of the Castel 
Nuovo, which his father built, and hear the pleas of 
all his subjects who had any grievances ; and lest 
the servants should prevent the poor from having 
access to him, he had a large bell placed at the 
outer gate for the applicants to ring, that he might 
hear it. 

One day an old horse, that belonged to a knight 
named Marco Capece, which was straying about the 
city, rubbed itself against the wall, and inadvertently 
rang the bell. The Duke ordered the porter to 
bring in the complainant, and amid the laughter of 
the court the man returned to announce that it was 
only Marco Capece's old horse. 

Charles, however, said that a horse deserved 

io The Beautiful Queen 

justice as well as his other subjects, and sent for 
the owner and rebuked him severely for his neglect 
of an old and faithful servant, and ordered him 
to take better care of it, under pain of losing the 
pension he in a measure owed to it. 

It is a pity the Neapolitans do not take this old 
story to heart, for there is perhaps no city in 
Europe in which horses are worse treated than in 

In 1326 Charles left Naples for Florence, which 
he had agreed to govern for ten years at the request 
of the inhabitants, taking with him his wife, Maria 
of Valois, his uncles, the princes of Taranto and 
Durazzo, sixteen of the great Neapolitan barons, 
and two hundred other knights with golden spurs, 
their wives and children. 

The princes and knights travelled on richly 
caparisoned horses, wearing cloaks of cloth-of-gold 
of various colours over their brilliant armour : the 
ladies wore dresses and mantles of cloth-of-gold or 
silver, or velvet or silk, either violet, crimson, 
purple, or green, both material and colour being 
determined by their rank. They travelled either 
on horseback or in litters, or in springless chariots 
covered with the gayest coloured velvet or some 
other costly material. Both knights and ladies 
wore for travelling long silk hoods embroidered 
with grotesque devices, these were fastened under 
the chin with jewelled clasps, and hung down 

Introductory 1 1 

behind in two long points almost reaching to the 

Each knight had at- least three squires, one of 
whom carried his master's arms on high. Hence the 
expression " With a high hand." Another carried his 
helmet on his saddle, and the third led his charger. 

This cavalcade is said to have been the most 
magnificent which had travelled through Italy since 
the fall of the Roman Empire. In its train were 
1,500 sumpter-mules of the barons, followed by 
large numbers of other animals carrying the baggage 
of the knights, and a large body of infantry. They 
started on May 31st from Naples, but stayed some 
weeks at Sienna, so they did not reach Florence 
until July 31st. Here they received a splendid 
reception, the streets being brilliantly decorated and 
their path strewn with flowers. 

The court of Joanna's mother, Maria, Duchess of 
Calabria, at Florence was famed for its magnificence 
and for the sumptuous entertainments, both banquets 
and balls, given by the Duke and his wife. Maria 
appears to have won the hearts of the Florentine 
ladies, by a policy calculated to appeal to the femin- 
ine mind in all ages. It seems that the Florentine 
men had forbidden their wives and daughters to 
wear what they considered a disreputable ornament 
of thick tresses of white and yellow silk, which they 
arranged round their faces instead of their hair. In 
December, 1326, the Florentine dames petitioned 

12 The Beautiful Queen 

the Duchess to get her husband to repeal the sump- 
tuary law which forbade them to wear this hideous 
head-dress, and the Duchess prevailed upon her 
husband to do so. The Duke probably thought 
in this fourteenth century that " wilful woman must 
have her way," just as it is allowed her as generally 
in the twentieth. 

In the spring of 1327 Maria of Valois, Duchess 
of Calabria, gave birth to a prince, who died a few 
days after his public baptism, to the great grief of 
all the royal family, for he was the heir to the throne 
of the Two Sicilies. The following December the 
Duke was recalled by his father, Robert, to Naples 
to assist in repelling an invasion of Louis the 
Bavarian, Emperor of Germany. The next March 
Joanna was born. 

It must be remembered that in the fourteenth 
century the year began on March 25th, instead 
of on January 1st, so that the date of the future 
Queen's birth was 1327 according to the old style 
of reckoning, 1328 according to the Gregorian or 
new style — which, by the way, England was the 
last country in Europe to adopt. 

It will not be uninteresting perhaps to pause for 
a moment to describe briefly the apartments of 
the Duchess of Calabria upon this interesting 

There was a suite of three apartments. The first 
was called " the chamber of parade," and was hung 

Introductory 1 3 

with crimson satin, embroidered with gold ; the 
floor was covered entirely with crimson velvet. 
This room contained one bed, curtained with crimson 
satin, and with a counterpane of the same material. 
The bed was only used to accommodate Joanna 
upon the day of her baptism. A low chair and a 
buffet, under a canopy of crimson cloth-of-gold, 
completed the furniture of this apartment. The 
shelves of the buffet were covered with the finest 
white linen, and on them stood flagons, cups, and 
vases of gold and silver. 

This ante-chamber opened into the bedroom of 
the Duchess, the walls of which were completely 
draped with white silk damask hangings; curtains 
of the same material were festooned over the 
windows and doors and between and round the 
two beds, which stood five feet apart under one 
tester or canopy, similarly draped. The counter- 
panes of these beds were of ermine. 

This apartment also contained a huge buffet, 
which stood under a canopy of crimson cloth-of- 
gold ; the shelves were covered with the finest 
damask cloths, and on them were placed crystal 
vessels, ornamented with gold and jewels, and never 
used except upon these august occasions. Massive 
gold candlesticks stood at each end of the buffet, 
and the huge wax-candles in them were only lighted 
upon the entrance of visitors, but two smaller tapers 
were kept burning day and night for fifteen days 

H The Beautiful Queen 

after the birth, during which period it was not 
Etiquette to admit daylight. 

The innermost room, which was assigned to the 
new-born infant, was also draped in white silk, but 
of an inferior quality. 

Immediately Joanna was born she was placed in 
the hands of Philippa the Catanese, who was destined 
to play a tragic part in the drama of which Joanna 
was the heroine. 

In the same year that Joanna was born her father 
founded the celebrated monastery of San Martino, 
between Naples and the Castle of St. Elmo. It was 
one of the last acts of his life, for before the year was 
ended Robert the Wise and the Neapolitans were 
overwhelmed with grief by the death of the Duke, 
caused by a fever while engaged in his favourite sport 
of hawking. During Charles's last illness Robert 
sat day and night by his son's bedside, endeavouring 
to prolong his life by his own skill as a physician. 
When all remedies failed, and the unfortunate Duke, 
still in the prime of life, passed away, the King 
exclaimed : " The crown has fallen from my head. 
Woe to me, woe to you ! " 

Charles had always been the darling of the people 
and the support of the throne, and his death was a 
great blow to the nation, as well as to the King, 
who idolised his only son and the heir to his 
kingdom. The late Duke was a handsome man, 
of fine figure, courageous, though not fond of 

Introductory 1 5 

war ; his abilities were inferior to those of his father 
and daughter, but he was of an amiable disposition 
which endeared him to every one. 

He was buried in the church of St. Clare, founded 
by his father in 13 10. A story is told of the Duke 
and his father with regard to this church, on which 
Robert had expended immense sums of money, both 
in building and ornamenting it. When finished 
he took. Charles to see it, and pointed out its 
beauties, to him ; then, suspecting from the Duke's 
manner that he did not particularly admire it, he 
asked him what he thought of it. The Duke 
with more candour than tact said he thought it was 
more like a stable than a church. 

" May it please God, my son, that you are not 
the first to eat in this stable," said Robert, irritated 
at Charles's criticism. As it happened, the poor 
Duke was the first member of his family to be 
buried in this church, which the Neapolitans took to 
be the meaning of the rebuke. 

There was still a hope that Charles might be 
succeeded by a son, for Maria of Valois was 
expecting an addition to her family when her 
husband died ; but a few months after his death 
she gave birth to another daughter, who was named 
Maria, and from that time Joanna was recognised 
as her grandfather's heiress and successor. 

The Duchess only survived her husband three 
years. She died in 1321, leaving the two little 

1 6 The Beautiful Queen 

princesses, Joanna and Maria, to the care of their 
grandfather and his second wife, the devout Queen 
Sancha. Maria, whose brother Philip of Valois, 
the first King of France of the house of Valois, 
came to the throne in 1328, left half her fortune 
of sixty thousand francs, which she received from 
her father, and half her lands in Naples, to each 
of her daughters, but to Joanna she left the largest 
share of her jewels, clothes, and personal effects. 

Little is known as to her character, beyond the 
fact of her popularity in Florence ; but she is 
believed to have been a good and virtuous princess, 
whose early death is to be lamented as it deprived 
her children of a mother's care. 


Joanna's Childhood 

A MINOR mystery in the life of Joanna I. is 
-**■ why so wise a man as Robert the Good 
should have chosen Philippa the Catanese, whom 
historians speak of as " a woman sprung from the 
dregs of the people, originally a laundress," as the 
most fitting person to have charge of the heiress 
to the Neapolitan throne. Whether Philippa was 
worthy of the confidence reposed in her by the King 
and Queen or not, it was an unwise choice Philippa's 
low origin afterwards reflected injuriously upon her 
royal charge, and roused at the time the envy of 
her contemporaries, who, prejudiced by the favour 
shown her, were ready to attribute every vice to 
Joanna's governess. 

Philippa was a native of Catania in Sicily, the 
wife of a Sicilian fisherman and herself a laundress, 
who was called in by Violante of Aragon to act as 
wet-nurse to her son Charles, the Duke of Calabria, 

'7 2 

1 8 The Beautiful Queen 

when she was in Sicily with her husband, who was 
engaged in an expedition against the Sicilians. 
Philippa was not only beautiful and graceful, but 
intelligent also, and she soon acquired courtly man- 
ners, and took such tender care of her foster-son 
that Violante henceforth heaped honours upon her. 

Robert's seneschal, Raymond de Chabannes, had at 
this time a favourite Moor who acted as his cook 
and steward, and pleased his master so well that he 
gave him his own names in baptism, and set him 
free, and when he resigned the seneschalship recom- 
mended Robert to take the Moor in his place. 
Raymond the Moor soon became as great a favour- 
ite with the King as Philippa was with Violante, and 
when the Catanese's first husband died they arranged 
a second marriage for Philippa with the new senes- 
chal, now raised to the rank of a knight. 

Before Violante died she begged Robert to be 
good to Philippa, and when he married Sancha, 
another Aragon princess, he gave Philippa to her as 
one of her ladies of the bed-chamber, and Sancha 
grew equally fond of her. When the Duke 
of Calabria, her foster-son, married Catherine of 
Austria, Philippa was made first lady of the bed- 
chamber to her ; and when his second wife, Maria 
of Valois, went with him to Florence, the Catanese 
accompanied her in the same office. 

The Angevine princes were celebrated for their 
fidelity in rewarding the attachment of their subjects, 

Joanna's Childhood 19 

in no matter how low a station, by bestowing upon 
them high posts in their household, which may 
account for the affection and gratitude of so many 
of the Neapolitan royal family to Philippa. Her 
contemporaries, with the credulity of their age, how- 
ever, attributed it to magic potions, in which the 
Sicilian women were said to be very clever. Boccaccio 
made a much shrewder guess at the source of her 
influence, attributing it to her skill in making 
cosmetics and confectionery. 

She succeeded in winning Joanna's affection also, 
and is believed to have lavished a mother's care upon 
her ; and when the young Queen came to the throne 
she was the first lady in her court, and was treated 
with the greatest respect. 

It is impossible that Philippa could have risen to 
so high a position, from so lowly an origin, unless 
she had had great talent as well as personal gifts to 
recommend her, for she was a trusted servant of 
Robert for forty-five years, and the devout Queen 
Sancha had such regard for her that it was due to 
her influence that Joanna was placed under her 

Both Robert and Sancha must have had solid 
reasons for this choice, for we read in Carracciola's 
Life of Joanna how particular they were in choosing 
the little Princess's attendants. The King took 
special care that nothing should be said or done in 
the child's presence from which she could learn evil, 

20 The Beautiful Queen 

and to that end he confided her to chaste matrons ; 
moreover, he took some nuns out of their convents, 
with the permission of the Pope, to instruct her in 
all Christian duties and in the religious ceremonies 
at which she would have to assist, and to train her 
in industrious habits. Indeed, so strictly did Robert 
and Sancha bring their little grandchild up that they 
would not allow any one to be seen in her company 
who wore rouge or paint or the hair of any dead 

It was a custom in the fourteenth century, when 
gross ignorance was the rule in all ranks of life, to 
entrust the education of royal princes and princesses 
to the religious orders, whose members were gene- 
rally more cultivated, and for this purpose, as in the 
case of Joanna, nuns were permitted by dispensa- 
tion from the Pope to leave their enclosure and 
live in the palace where their services were required. 
Thus it was quite in accordance with the spirit 
of the age for Robert to send for two nuns to 
come to court, and try to form the character of the 
future Queen on religious principles, and it was 
particularly acceptable to Sancha. 

This unworldly Queen desired to leave the world 
and join the Poor Clares, the strictest order of the 
Church, for whom she had built a convent in Naples ; 
and she was only deterred from taking this step by 
Pope John XXII., who very wisely told her she 
would be neglecting her duty as a wife if she did 

Joanna's Childhood 21 

so, and thereby rendering herself displeasing to 
Almighty" God, instead of her proposed sacrifice 
being acceptable to Him. The pious Queen there- 
fore remained in the world until the death of her 

As Joanna grew older, still more elaborate rules 
were laid down by her grandfather with regard to 
her bringing up. None of those who dressed her 
were to be of low birth, or unpolished manners ; 
her court was to be presided over by a man of the 
highest prudence and authority, whom the nobles 
and their sons who frequented it would obey. He 
who gave the future Queen water for her hands at 
table, as was then the custom, must be a knight or 
greater than a knight, and so must those who bore 
the dishes to her, and who tasted them to see that 
they were not poisoned before they were handed to 
her. The cupbearer must do his duty with the 
greatest fidelity, lest any harm, designed or inad- 
vertent, should come to the young Princess. The 
major-domo was to observe at supper that she did 
not eat anything greedily or ask for it arrogantly, 
and if he detected her in this he was to advise her 
secretly, not publicly, as that would be indecorous 
and exceedingly disagreeable to the King, and he 
was not to do it a second time if she amended at 
the first reproof. 

The King also ordered that the most illustrious 
doctors should assist at supper and dinner always, 

22 The Beautiful Queen 

lest any unwholesome food should be offered the 
child, and to see that she only took as much as 
was necessary for health. It seems quite clear 
from all these minute directions that there could 
have been nothing objectionable in Philippa the 
Catanese, except her lowly origin, or Robert, who 
took such elaborate pains to shield his grandchild 
from moral and physical evil, would never have 
selected her as the governess and confidante, and 
we may say foster-mother, of the Princess. 

We have dwelt at some length upon these 
details, because some historians laid all Joanna's 
faults, real and imaginary, at Philippa's door. 

Her education included Latin and French, both 
of which languages she read and wrote as well 
as her own ; and besides the study of theology 
and philosophy, she was taught to sew and to 
cook, and used to exult girlishly over her cousins, 
the young princesses of Taranto and Durazzo, who 
were brought up with her and her sister Maria, 
when she excelled in any of these things. 

In the year 1331 Robert caused the oaths of 
allegiance to be taken to Joanna, with the re- 
version to Maria in the event of the death of the 
elder child. This was necessary to secure, in those 
turbulent times, the peaceable succession to the 
throne on his death. The following year the Prince 
of Taranto died without male issue, and he left 
the principality of Taranto to Joanna ; by preferring 

Joanna's Childhood 23 

her to the prince of the house of Durazzo, he made 
her claim to the throne of Naples and Sicily much 
more secure. As the heiress of all the rights and 
estates of her father, she was now styled the Duchess 
of Calabria and the Countess of Provence. 

As soon as Robert had decided to make Joanna 
his heiress, he took care to let her, child as she was, 
receive the principal men of the State, that she 
might hear them speak and learn how to answer 
them ; and she so pleased the King by her manners 
that he frequently presented the Ambassadors of 
foreign courts, who came to Naples to see him, 
to her, and let them know she was his heiress. As 
she grew older her cultivated mind and her remark- 
able talents and great charm of manner, as well as 
her extraordinary beauty, which increased daily, made 
the death of her father less grievous to the King, who 
saw his granddaughter promised to make a good 
queen, and be a worthy successor to his throne. 

Unfortunately Robert's anxiety on Joanna's ac- 
count did not stop here. To make her succession 
still more secure, as he thought, he arranged a 
marriage for her when she was only five years 
old, with Andrew, Prince of Hungary, the third 
son of Canrobert, King of Hungary. In this matter 
Robert is said to have acted on the advice of Pope 
John XXII., who desired thus to unite the opposing 
claims of the two elder branches of the Angevine 
family to the crown of Naples. 

24 The Beautiful Queen 

As we saw in the last chapter, the eldest and 
Hungarian branch of the Anjou line had never liked 
the disposition of Charles the Lame, in leaving the 
throne of the Two Sicilies to his second son, Robert ; 
and the Pope hoped a marriage with Canrobert's 
third son, Andrew, with the heiress to the Neapolitan 
throne would prevent Canrobert and his heirs from 
attempting to wrest the crown from the reigning 

Accordingly Robert arranged this unfortunate 
marriage between Andrew, then a little boy of seven, 
and Joanna, a child of five. These child-marriages 
among royal families were not uncommon. A dis- 
pensation had to be obtained from the Pope, and 
sometimes, as in the case of Joanna's contemporaries, 
Magnus II. of Sweden and Blanche of Dampierre, 
the marriage was celebrated by proxy. It is true 
Magnus was eighteen at the time of his marriage, 
but the little Belgian Princess Blanche was only 
ten. The great Queen Margaret of Sweden, the 
Semiramis of the North, as she was called, was only 
ten when in 1363 she married Haquin and was 
brought to the Swedish court to be educated. 
Another of these child-marriages was that of Prince 
John of Bohemia — he was like Andrew of Hungary, 
of feeble intellect — who when only nine years 
old was married in 1330, just three years before 
Joanna, to Margaret, daughter of Prince Henry, 
Count and ruler of Tyrol. Margaret, who is known 

Joanna's Childhood 25 

to history as " Mucklemouthed Meg," was a few 
years older than her husband, and her marriage 
turned out more disastrous, if less tragic, than that 
of Andrew and Joanna. 

Robert, however, determined that Andrew should 
come to Naples, and, after the wedding of these two 
children had been celebrated there with all possible 
pomp, decided that the young prince should remain 
at the Neapolitan court, and be educated there and 
subjected to the influence of its culture, for the 
Hungarians were at this time a semi-barbarian nation, 
rude and uneducated. By his attempt to conciliate 
the Hungarian branch of the Angevins with this 
alliance, Robert disappointed the elder princes of 
Taranto and Durazzo, both brave, talented youths, 
who hoped their uncle would bestow the hand of 
the heiress of the Two Sicilies upon one of them, 
or on one of their younger brothers, all of whom 
were well known to Joanna, and constant frequenters 
of the Neapolitan court. 

It was unfortunate for every one concerned that 
Robert's choice fell upon Andrew, whom he had 
not seen, instead of on one of the other attractive 
cousins of Joanna. The boy was so young, when he 
arrived in Naples to celebrate his marriage, that the 
King could not possibly tell what time and education 
might do for him, or how his character would develop ; 
but he seems to have been almost, if not quite, imbecile. 
It was, however, too late to retract now, and Robert 

26 The Beautiful Queen 

received the child-bridegroom and his father, Can- 
robert, the King of Hungary, with every sign of joy. 

Canrobert was attended by a number of Hungarian 
barons, who were as astonished at the magnificence, 
culture, and refinement of the Neapolitan court as 
the Neapolitan princes and nobles were at the bar- 
barian appearance and rude, uncultivated manners 
of the Hungarians. 

This marriage, which was destined to turn out 
so disastrously, was celebrated with the utmost 
pomp and splendour. The subsidiary courts of 
Taranto and Durazzo, with their princes, were all 
present as well as the Hungarians. Ambassadors 
from all the other states and principalities of Italy 
were there, and among these the most numerous 
and the most gorgeously attired were the Florentines, 
whose staff bore the arms and wore the liveries of 
the Duke of Calabria, as though he were still 
their ruler. This was considered the most delicate 
compliment they could possibly have paid to his 

The Neapolitan nobility vied with the princes 
and members of the royal family in the splendour 
of their costumes in an age when extravagance in 
dress was carried to an extent never since surpassed 
either in costliness of material, brilliancy of colour, 
or absurdity in fashion. In all these particulars 
the men equalled, if they did not surpass, the 
women. Among other ridiculous fashions affected 

Joanna's Childhood 27 

by the younger men were their parti-coloured 
clothing, one leg being clad in blue velvet and 
the other in pink knee-breeches and silk stockings, 
or else one in green and the other in red brocaded 
damask, or cloth-of-gold, while their shoes had 
long points turned up at the toe and fastened to 
the knee with a gold or silver chain. Men of 
fashion all wore long hair hanging in ringlets over 
their shoulders. The old men had long beards and 
long, flowing robes like Orientals. 

For a long time after this great function Floren- 
tine, Roman, Venetian, Sienese, and other Italian 
ladies endeavoured to follow at their weddings, 
on a mitigated scale, the fashions set at Joanna's, 
which seems to have been the subject of court- 
gossip all over Europe. 

The infant-bride was resplendent in gold and 
pearls and other jewels ; and little did Robert think, 
as the two children — who, we are told, were delighted 
with all this fuss and splendour — knelt before him 
for his blessing, that they were both doomed to be 
the subjects of violent and tragical deaths. 

At the end of October in this same year Can- 
robert went back to Hungary, leaving behind him 
a suite of Hungarians, with one Nicholas at their 
head as the governor of Andrew — who, by the way, 
was a mere nonentity — and one Friar Robert, in 
whom was vested all authority over the young prince, 
as his tutor. 

28 The Beautiful Queen 

This is another instance of a member of a religious 
order being chosen as tutor to a prince. Unfor- 
tunately Friar Robert, upon whom Italian historians 
heap every kind of abuse — and even Petrarch can 
hardly speak of him without animosity — was not 
only unsuitable for the office, but by his ambition 
was, to a large extent, responsible for the tragedy 
that followed. He was a Franciscan friar, and 
was evidently highly obnoxious to the Neapolitans, 
but whether he was really such a sink of iniquity 
as he is described by his contemporaries to have 
been may be doubted. 

He lived in an age when neglect of bodily cleanli- 
ness was considered a great mark of holiness, as 
it certainly is the greatest of all the bodily morti- 
fications practised by the saints, and there is no 
doubt Friar Robert, from all accounts, gave con- 
vincing proofs of one meaning, and that not the 
highest, attached to the " odour of sanctity." This 
is" attributed to him as hypocrisy, and Petrarch calls 
him "worse than a serpent," who is said to have 
concealed under his dirty habit vice and cruelty ; 
he is also accused of having wilfully brought up 
Andrew in ignorance, in order to gain a pernicious 
influence over his mind. This may or may not 
be true. Andrew was apparendy so stupid, if 
not actually imbecile, that Friar Robert may have 
found it impossible to impart any knowledge to 

Joanna's Childhood 29 

He certainly hated the Neapolitans as much as 
they hated him, and he tried all he could to exalt 
his pupil at the expense of Joanna, and the 
Hungarians at the cost of the Neapolitans, but he 
did not appear in his true character until after the 
death of King Robert. 

About a month after Joanna's marriage the city 
of Florence was nearly destroyed by a most dis- 
astrous flood, which Villani, the historian, and some 
of the Florentines themselves, looked upon as a 
judgment from Heaven for their sins. King 
Robert shared this opinion, and in a long Latin 
letter, which he as chief of the Guelphs wrote to 
the citizens on this occasion, he exhorts them to 

The view that it was a chastisement was 
strengthened by a vision seen on the night of the 
deluge by a hermit who lived above the monastery 
of Vallombrosa. He heard a terrific noise as he was 
praying, and, going to the door of his hermitage, 
saw a troop of armed horsemen, all black and 
terrible in aspect, ride furiously past, who, in 
answer to his question as to where they were 
going, said they were going, please God, to drown 
the city of Florence for its wickedness. 

Florence was at this time a very licentious city, 
and the scene of frequent bloodshed caused by 
encounters between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, 
the former of whom espoused the part of the Pope, 

30 The Beautiful Queen 

the latter the part of the Emperor ; they were also 
called the Neri and Bianchi, as the followers of the 
Pope's party and the King of Italy's are to this day 
in Rome. 

During this century all the Italian republics and 
cities were divided between rival factions. In Rome 
the constant battles between the adherents of the 
Colonnas and the Orsini, and the absence of the 
controlling power of a residential Pope, made the 
Eternal City a prey to murder, assassination, and 
rapine, and unsafe to live in, for even the churches 
were in ruins. 

No incident of importance happened in Joanna's 
life for five or six years after her early marriage. 
The child made such progress in her studies, and 
had such excellent abilities, that by the time she 
was twelve years old Costanzo and other writers 
say of her " that she already surpassed in under- 
standing not only every child of her age, but many 
women of mature years." Moreover, by her 
generous and affectionate disposition and charming 
manners, she endeared herself to all around her. 
She was most obedient to Robert, whose heart was 
torn with remorse when he saw his beautiful grand- 
child growing daily more accomplished and more 
fit to fill the high dignity in store for her, while, 
on the other hand, her semi-idiotic consort learned 
nothing from his Hungarian teachers except their 
unpolished manners and the hatred they felt for the 

Joanna's Childhood 31 

Neapolitans, with which Friar Robert endeavoured 
to inspire him. 

As the children grew up, the contrast became 
more striking between the beautiful Joanna and 
the unfortunate and boorish Andrew, who, 
Petrarch says, was " from all eternity ugly and 

Joanna, as she entered her girlhood, is said to have 
been saddened at the terrible prospect of spending her 
life yoked to so uncongenial a companion, especially 
when she saw herself surrounded by many handsome, 
brave, and attractive princes, her constant com- 
panions, who paid her homage, worshipped at her 
shrine, and would gladly have died for her, who 
was one of the richest heiresses of her time, and 
endowed with extraordinary beauty as well as with 
such exceptional talents. 

Robert dimly foresaw some of the temptations 
to which his own want of discretion would expose 
his grandchild, and when Pope John XXII. died, 
and was succeeded in 1334 by Benedict XII., he 
might have obtained a dispensation from the new 
Pope to annul this infantine marriage, on the ground 
of Andrew's unfitness ; but, instead of doing this, 
he contented himself with calling a general assembly 
of the nation, at which he caused the oaths of 
allegiance to be taken to Joanna alone. This step 
excluded Andrew, or rather his ambitious and 
barbarian followers, from any share in the govern- 

3 2 The Beautiful Queen 

ment of the kingdom, and all Robert's Italian 
subjects joyfully took the oath of exclusive allegiance 
to the popular Joanna. 

Apart from all national jealousy, the Neapolitans 
hated the Hungarians on account of their drunken- 
ness and other low, coarse vices, and insolent, 
barbarian manners. The Neapolitans were them- 
selves by no means immaculate- — and indeed in the 
matter of licentiousness there was not much to 
choose between them and the Hungarians. But the 
Neapolitans were sober and polished and refined in 
manner, and of the careless, happy, joyous disposi- 
tion which still characterises them ; while the Hun- 
garians, in spite of their boorish inferiority, were 
haughty and ambitious, and impudently aimed at gain- 
ing the ascendency in the kingdom for themselves. 

By this oath the political union between Andrew 
and Joanna was dissolved, but their marriage con- 
tract was still unfortunately religiously and civilly 
binding, in spite of their youth when it was made. 

King Robert, however, was to a great extent 
absorbed in his books, for he remained a scholar to 
the end of his days, and during the last year or two of 
his life was much taken up with Petrarch, whom he 
succeeded in getting crowned with laurels at Rome, 
and induced to pay his first visit to the court of Naples, 
the year before Robert died — to see, as the poet said, 
" the only King who could judge of anything more 
important than a ragout or a flight of birds." 

Petrarch's First Visit to Naples 

ONE of Joanna's many claims to fame is, she 
was the friend of Petrarch and Boccaccio, the 
two greatest geniuses of her time, both of whom 
have eulogised her in enthusiastic terms in their 
immortal writings. She was only thirteen when 
Petrarch paid his first visit to the court of Naples, 
in 1 341, to submit his writings to the learned 
King Robert for examination before he accepted 
the crown of laurel, although he was already so 
famous that this examination was unnecessary. 

Francis Petrarch was now thirty-seven, and so 
strikingly handsome and of so fine a presence that 
wherever he went he attracted attention, and he 
was an ornament to any court. He was tall and 
very manly in appearance, with fine features and 
eyes full of fire ; he had a clear, ruddy complexion 
and a countenance that betrayed the genius and 
imaginative power which distinguished his writings. 
A highly accomplished scholar, he was a philosopher 

33 3 

34 The Beautiful Queen 

and a theologian as well as a poet of the first water ; 
but he was more and higher than all this, as the 
following words of his will show. 

" I love truth," he says, " and not sects. I am 
something of a Peripatetic, a Stoic, or an Academician, 
and often none of them, but always a Christian. 
To philosophise is to love wisdom : and the true 
wisdom is Jesus Christ. Let us read the historians, 
the poets, and the philosophers, but let us have 
in our hearts the gospel of Jesus Christ, in which 
alone is perfect wisdom and perfect happiness." 

He was the intimate friend of Cardinal James 
Colonna, who was one of his greatest patrons, and 
introduced him to his family, the noblest and most 
prominent in Rome. After leaving the university 
of Bologna, Petrarch had spent a year in Avignon, 
and amid all the beauties of the magnificent and 
brilliant court there had remained heart-whole : in 
his own words, he was " free and wild as an untamed 
stag," though of a most passionate nature. But 
before he left Avignon he was destined to meet his 

On Palm Sunday, 1327, he went to Mass in the 
monastery of St. Clare, and for the first time saw 
Laura, dressed in a green robe embroidered with 
violets. Her wondrous beauty, as we learn from 
the Sonnets of Petrarch, at once captured the poet's 
heart, and she became the idol of his adoration 
and the inspiration of his verse. But alas ! she 

From a print by Raffadle Morghen, after a picture by Tofanellu 

P- 34] 

Petrarch's First Visit to Naples 35 

was already the wife of another. Possessed of a 
handsome dowry, her mother had married her when 
very young to one Hugh de Sades, who held a 
high position in Avignon, Laura's native city. 

She was an honourable woman, a faithful wife, 
and neither an allegorical myth nor the mistress 
of Petrarch, as some romancers have said in an 
age when calumny was rife. Equally false was 
another report, that Urban V. had granted Petrarch, 
who was in holy orders, a dispensation to marry 
Laura and that Petrarch had refused it, saying 
" the conjugal tie would sully his affection." 
Urban V. did not come to the throne till after the 
death of Laura. 

Laura, on discovering the poet's passion for her, 
treated him with chaste severity, avoiding him if 
they met by accident, and when forced to meet 
him in any public place or social gathering she 
wore a veil, against the use of which he laments 
in one of his sonnets. She also terrified him by 
the austerity of her expression. 

When he went to Naples Petrarch was still under 
the spell of Laura's fascinations, and indeed he 
desired the honour of the laurel crown more for 
her sake than his own. The custom of crowning 
a genius with a laurel crown in Rome had been 
abandoned for a thousand years, and there was 
now a question as to whether Petrarch should 
receive this honour in Rome or in Paris ; but he 

3 6 The Beautiful Queen 

ultimately decided to go to Rome, if Robert, King 
of Naples, pronounced him worthy of such an 

The King entertained the poet by showing him 
the wonders of his beautiful capital, and especially 
by taking him to visit the supposed tomb of Virgil 
at the entrance to the Grotto of Posilipo, which 
was then darker and narrower even than it is now ; 
but it was held so sacred, Virgil having been supposed 
to have made it so by incantations, that no robbers 
dared to infest it. 

Then Robert held a public examination of the 
poet, which lasted for five days, during which the 
king questioned Petrarch on all kinds of subjects, 
scientific and philosophic ; Petrarch lectured on 
poetry and history, astonished the King by his 
wisdom and learning, and almost converted him to 
become in his old age a lover of poetry, which he 
had hitherto scorned. At the close of this exami- 
nation the King in the presence of the Queen, 
Joanna, and all the princes and princesses of the 
court, pronounced a sort of panegyric on the genius 
of the poet, and declared him worthy of the laurel 

Robert desired that the ceremony of coronation 
should take place at Naples, but Petrarch preferred 
to be crowned in Rome, where, as he explained to 
the King, Virgil, Horace, and so many other poets 
had received this honour. Accordingly Petrarch 

Petrarch's First Visit to Naples 37 

left Naples in the beginning of April for Rome ; but 
before he left, Robert took off the robe he was 
wearing, and, giving it to him, begged him to wear 
it at his coronation. 

During his stay in Naples Petrarch read his 
"Africa," an epic poem which he was then writing, 
to King Robert, who was so pleased with it that 
he begged it might be dedicated to him. Petrarch 
promised that it should be, and fulfilled this promise 
after the King's death. He was crowned in Rome 
on April 8th, 1341, wearing the King's robe of 
state, and accompanied by twelve young Roman 
men clad in scarlet robes and wearing crowns of 
flowers on their heads. The ceremony was per- 
formed in the Capitol by the Senator of Rome. 

Among the learned men Petrarch met at the 
court of Naples were John Barrili and Barbatus 
Sulmone, whom he compared to Homer and Virgil ; 
another celebrated man was the King's librarian, 
Paul of Perugia, a friend of our Richard de Bury, 
Bishop of Durham, said to have been the wisest 
man in England, and the author of a charming little 
essay on the " Love of Books." Petrarch had met 
de Bury at the court of Avignon, and was on 
friendly terms with him. He is said to have 
possessed the largest library in Europe. Boccaccio, 
with whom Petrarch was destined to become very 
intimate on a later visit to Naples, had not yet 
written the Decameron, nor won the fame he after- 

38 The Beautiful Queen 

wards enjoyed, and was at this time living in 
obscurity in that city, and through the favour of 
Paul of Perugia coming to the palace to visit the 
King's library. Here he met the beautiful Maria of 
Sicily, Robert's natural daughter, who became to 
Boccaccio what Beatrice and Laura were to Dante 
and Petrarch. 

Maria, who was witty and accomplished as well as 
beautiful, had married a Neapolitan nobleman named 
d' Aquino, but she was the constant companion of 
her father, whether he was at Castel Nuovo or at 
one or other of his summer residences, either in the 
Bay of Baiae, or Sorrento, or Amain, or some other 
lovely spot in that land of beauty. 

Three days after Petrarch left Naples Boccaccio 
met Maria for the first time, and under precisely 
similar circumstances to those under which Petrarch, 
who probably told him the story, first met Laura, 
namely, in church — and, oddly enough, in the church 
of St. Clare in Naples instead of St. Clare's at 
Avignon — and meeting, he straightway fell in love 
with her. Through Maria he became acquainted 
with Joanna, then nearly fourteen, " whose culti- 
vated mind," says Guinezelli, " appreciated all his 

It was the fashion at that time for every married 
woman of rank to have some celebrated military or 
literary man in her train as her lover, and he was 
considered as indispensable an appendage as her 

Petrarch's First Visit to Naples 39 

coronet : if a soldier, he fought for her and wore 
her favour on his shield ; if a poet, he dedicated his 
poems to her exclusively. How far this devotion 
went depended upon the character of the woman ; 
in Maria of Sicily's case it is believed to have gone 
very far, for in those days Boccaccio had the reputa- 
tion of being somewhat lax in his morals. But we 
must never forget that calumny was one of the 
besetting sins of the age, and all stories of intrigues 
require to be taken with the proverbial pinch of salt. 
Giovanni Boccaccio, who was the natural son of 
a Florentine merchant, was born in 1313, and is 
believed to have written his first works, " The 
Rime," " The Filocolo," a very prolix effusion, 
" The Fiammette," etc., under the direct inspira- 
tion of Maria, who also suggested the " Decameron," 
on which his claim to immortality rests, for in this 
he appears as the maker of Italian prose. 

One more most celebrated figure among King 
Robert's courtiers we must not omit to mention, 
for he is accused by some writers of playing the 
assassin's part in the murder of Andrew of Hungary, 
that ghastly tragedy which left a stain never yet 
effaced on the most brilliant court of the fourteenth 

This was Nicholas Acciajuoli, whom Petrarch 
called his second Maecenas. He was the son of 
one of the very richest merchants of Florence, and 
originally came to Naples to negotiate a loan between 

4o The Beautiful Queen 

his father and the King. He was very good- 
looking, highly accomplished, and endowed with 
such charming manners that the Princess of Taranto 
made him the tutor and governor of her son, Louis 
of Taranto, Joanna's second husband, and his 
younger brother Philip. Acciajuoli was not only 
a conspicuous figure in Robert's court, but also one 
of the most important personages in Joanna's reign, 
for his influence over Louis was supreme, and the 
friendship which grew up between them most 

In the beginning of January, 1343, Robert felt his 
strength was fast failing, and, judging death to be 
near, he made his will, dictating it in the presence 
of his counsellors. He made Joanna his universal 
heiress, not only of the kingdom of Naples, but also 
of the counties of Provence and Piedmont. If 
Joanna died without issue, her sister Maria was 
to succeed, and she was bequeathed a marriage dowry 
of 30,000 ounces of gold, with some lands for which 
she had to do homage to Joanna. To Andrew, 
in case he survived Joanna, he left the principality 
of Salerno, for which he was to do homage to the 
then reigning King and Queen. According to an 
agreement he had made with his nephew Canrobert, 
King of Hungary, he left Maria's hand in marriage 
to the eldest brother of Andrew, Canrobert's eldest 
son Louis, who had just ascended the throne of 

Petrarch's First Visit to Naples 41 

This marriage, if it ever came off, could only 
increase the difficulty of Joanna's succession, because 
the elder member of the Neapolitan family was 
already married to the younger son of the King 
of Hungary, and his elder son was by this will 
to be united to the younger sister of Joanna. Robert 
the Wise did not display his wisdom in the dis- 
position of his two grandchildren. Not content 
with marrying Joanna to an idiot, he now proposed 
to marry Maria to a semi-barbarian king, who was 
destined to become her sister Joanna's deadliest 

Robert would fain have made his Queen, Sancha, 
Regent of the kingdom during the minority of the 
young King and Queen, but she refused to accept 
the charge, being bent on entering a convent at her 
husband's death. He therefore appointed a council 
of regency with Sancha at the head of it ; the other 
members were Philip of Cabassole, Bishop of 
Cavaillon and Chancellor of the Kingdom of Naples, 
Philip of Sanguineto, Seneschal of Provence, Geoffrey, 
Count of Squilazzo, High Admiral, and Charles 
Artus, Grand Chamberlain of the kingdom. Joanna 
and Andrew, and also Maria, were not to attain 
their majority till they reached the age of twenty- 
five, and until that time all their edicts, gifts, and 
sales were to be considered null and void without 
the consent of the Council. 

Finally Robert recommended the Queen, his 

4 2 The Beautiful Queen 

grandchildren, and his dominions to the protection 
of the Pope and the College of Cardinals. The 
Pope at this time was Clement VI., who was a good 
friend to Joanna after Robert's death. He was a 
great Pope, clement by nature as well as by name, 
and one of the most profound scholars of his age, 
to whom Italian historians have not done justice, 
because of his preference for Avignon, where his 
court was celebrated for its luxury and magnificence. 
As soon as his will was duly sealed and attested, 
Robert called Joanna and Andrew to his bedside 
and endeavoured to impress upon them the solemn 
responsibilities of their position, warning them of 
the dangers with which they were surrounded on 
all sides, and apparently frightening them, for we 
are told they wept so bitterly that he gently re- 
proved them for their grief. Three days before his 
death, though very weak, he had himself carried to 
the church of St. Clare, which he had founded, and 
there was invested with the habit of the Third 
Order of St. Francis, in which humble garb he died. 
He was only sixty-four at the time of his death. 
Petrarch says of him : " He died as he had lived, 
speaking and acting in the same manner. If Heaven 
had positively decreed that he should not prevent 
the misfortunes which were to follow his death, it 
was the greatest happiness that could have happened 
to him, and I believe no man ever died at a more 
fortunate moment for himself." 

Petrarch's First Visit to Naples 43 

With a poet's prescience of coming evil, and with 
a keen sense of his own prophetic powers, which the 
sequel justified, he wrote to his friend Barbatus 
Sulmone, on hearing of the death of Robert, as 
follows : 

"What I have so much dreaded has happened, 
our great King has left us ! What an affliction 
for me, my dear Barbatus ! I fear to see his death 
followed by the calamities I have predicted. My 
mind is but too good a prophet when it announces 
sinister events. The youth of the Queen and her 
husband, the age of the Queen Dowager, her pro- 
jects, the dispositions and manners of the courtiers, 
make me fear everything. God grant that I may 
be deceived in my sad forebodings ! But I see two 
lambs in the midst of wolves, a monarchy without 
a monarch — for can we thus term a child in tute- 
lage ? " The lambs alluded to were Joanna and 
Maria, the wolves Friar Robert and the Hungarians. 

Joanna, who was now in her sixteenth year, was 
" fair and goodly to look upon," says Boccaccio, who 
enlarges at great length on her intellectual gifts and 
her generous and fine disposition. Brantome, the 
celebrated French chronicler who accompanied Mary 
Queen of Scots to Holyrood, says that Joanna's 
beauty far exceeded that of Petrarch's Laura. 
" Her portrait, which is still to be seen," he writes, 
" shows that she was more angelic than human. I 
saw it at Naples in a number of places where it is 

44 The Beautiful Queen 

treasured with the greatest care. I have seen it 
also in France, in the cabinet of our kings and 
queens and of many of our noble ladies. Certainly 
this was a beautiful princess, whose countenance 
displayed great sweetness with a beautiful majesty. 
She is painted in a magnificent robe of crimson 
velvet, loaded with gold and silver lace and em- 
broidery. On her head she wears a bonnet on a 
cushion. In brief, this fine portrait of this lady 
represents her as all beauty, sweetness, and true 
majesty so well that one becomes enamoured of 
her mere image." 

This portrait was taken when the terrible tragedy 
of her life had added majesty to the beauty of 
youth, the beaute du diable with which at the time 
of Robert's death Joanna was sparkling ; but we 
find all her admirers speaking of the sweetness and 
majesty of her beauty, which was evidently of a 
very high type, though unfortunately none of the 
portraits of her which have come down to our time 
do justice to her. 

One of the most beautiful pictures in the world 
is said to be a painting of Joanna by Leonardo da 
Vinci copied from an old portrait, now in the Doria 
Gallery at Rome. From it she would appear to 
have been of the fair Italian type, for her eyes 
and hair are brown, her hair pale enough to be 
called golden : her face is a perfect oval, her fore- 
head high, her chin beautifully rounded, her lips 

9 ? / 

t I. 

Petrarch's First Visit to Naples 45 

full with a sweet smile playing round them, her 
nose slightly aquiline with delicately formed nostrils, 
and her eyes large, soft, and full. Joanna's beauty 
and intellectual gifts only made her boy husband's 
deficiencies the more striking, and it is no wonder 
that one of Robert's dying regrets was having 
made such a sacrifice of the future Queen's happi- 
ness to political expediency. 

He saw the two children grow up under his 
eyes, Joanna taking part in all the amusements of 
the court, and delighting him with her intelligence, 
entering into his love of learning, and developing 
her natural gifts of wit and eloquence, for which 
she was afterwards so famed ; while Andrew re- 
mained ignorant and loutish, interesting himself in 
nothing except eating and drinking, in which he 
took too much pleasure. 

The principal amusements of the Neapolitan Court 
in the fourteenth century were music and singing, 
and telling thrilling tales of love and adventure, in 
which art both men and women excelled. Cards 
were not introduced until the end of the century, 
when they were invented in Paris. Chess and 
backgammon were much played. 

The dancing was slow and stately, and the so- 
called ballade was the favourite Italian dance ; this 
was a dance accompanied by a chant, the dance 
illustrating the subject of the words sung. At 
great festivals, not only the King and Queen engaged 

46 The Beautiful Queen 

in these solemn dances, but likewise legates, prelates, 
and even cardinals. 

The fashionable drive round the Mole of Naples, 
in which Joanna and the other young princes and 
princesses daily took part, to the delight of the 
people, was also very slow and impressive, though 
the cavalcade of horses and chariots, princes and 
princesses, knights, courtiers, and ladies-in-waiting 
was magnificent. 

The troubadours were a conspicuous feature at 
Robert's court, for the Counts of Provence and 
Toulouse had always been the chief patrons of 
these Provencal court-poets, and singers of war 
and love and adventure ; they were one of the 
typical romantic figures of French and Spanish 
and Italian courts, from the beginning of the twelfth 
to the end of the fourteenth century. 

Entertainment was also provided by the court- 
jugglers and tumblers, who came into the banquet- 
ing-hall between the courses, at the entremets, to per- 
form various feats of jugglery. At public banquets, 
pageants, mock-battles, and various other scenes were 
represented during these interludes, for the amuse- 
ment of the guests, and perhaps also to give them 
time to get up an appetite for the next course. 

These banquets lasted an interminable time, and 
the tables groaned under the weight of the dishes, 
which consisted among other things of peacocks, 
cranes, venison, sturgeon, herons, seal, porpoises, 

Petrarch's First Visit to Naples 47 

and roast swan, besides various kinds of meat, cut 
up into small pieces before brought to table, which 
in England were called gobbets, and were conveyed 
to the mouth by the fingers as a rule, although 
spoons were then in use, but forks did not 
become general until the middle of the sixteenth 

An amusing incident is recorded of the introduc- 
tion of forks into Europe. The first of these now 
indispensable table-appointments is said to have 
been a golden prong brought by a Byzantine 
princess to Venice, when she came there as a bride 
in the eleventh century. St. Peter Damien, then 
Bishop of Ostia, hearing of what he deemed such 
extravagant luxury, preached a sermon in which 
he denounced her for her wicked extravagance in 
conveying her food to her mouth with a golden 
prong, instead of using her fingers, which Almighty 
God had given her for that very purpose ! " Autres 
temps, autres mceurs." The preacher who inveighs 
to-day against the wicked speed of motor-cars and the 
presumption of airships will probably strike our 
descendants as quite as fanatical and uncivilised as 
St. Peter Damien appears to us of the twentieth 

In the outdoor sports of hawking, fishing, and 
hunting, in which men then delighted, Italian ladies 
took no part, and in tournaments they were only 
spectators of the achievements of the knights. 

The Lamb among Wolves 

JOANNA and Andrew were proclaimed Queen 
and King as soon as King Robert's funeral 
was over. The Neapolitans received Joanna with 
the greatest joy, and ambassadors from all the Italian 
courts visited her, to condole with her on her 
grandfather's death and to congratulate her on her 
accession, and she received them all with grace and 
befitting dignity. 

For a brief period only the Council of Regency 
was permitted to govern, and during this time 
Joanna possessed influence over them, and astonished 
them by her wisdom and prudence. She and the 
Dowager Queen Sancha took the first opportunity 
of promoting their favourite, Philippa the Catanese, 
and her family to higher dignities than they enjoyed 
in the reign of the late King. 

Philippa was still Joanna's governess ; she was now 

made Countess of Montoni. Her granddaughter 

4 8 

The Lamb among Wolves 49 

Sancha, the Dowager Queen's godchild, was married 
to the Count of Murzano ; Philippa's son, the Count 
of Evoli, was made seneschal of the kingdom, a rank, 
inferior only to that of the Sovereign : by virtue 
of this appointment he became one of the seven 
great officers of the Crown. Philippa was now at 
the zenith of her prosperity, little irking of the 
terrible fate in store for her. But let us not antici- 
pate evils, where an armed band of troubles was 
close at hand. 

That " serpent," as Petrarch calls him, Friar 
Robert, began immediately to appear in his true 
character. He prompted his pupil Andrew to 
declare the crown of Naples was not Joanna's dowry, 
but his by right, and no sooner was the proclamation 
of the new King and Queen pronounced than he 
demanded admission to the Council of Regency 
for himself and for Nicholas the Hungarian, the 
governor of Andrew. Unfortunately the Council, 
after some hesitation, made the fatal mistake of 
admitting them, thereby compassing the very evil 
the late King had endeavoured to ward off" from the 
kingdom, to which end all his measures for many 
years had been directed. Not content with this 
first successful move, Friar Robert went on to obtain 
places of trust and influence for the Hungarians, 
intending ultimately to seize the reins of government 
for himself. 

Pope Clement VI. then interfered, partially can- 


5° The Beautiful Queen 

celling the Regency appointed by King Robert, and 
nominating a legate to govern in its place ; whereupon 
the most ambitious among the Neapolitan nobles 
seized the opportunity to promote their own ends, 
and refused to obey either the legate or the Regency, 
playing off one against the other. Meanwhile Friar 
Robert's hypocrisy imposed upon the people, who, 
judging his external poverty, as shown in his dirty 
habit and slovenly appearance, to be a sign of 
supernatural sanctity, were ready to obey and support 
him. He won the more mercenary nobles over by 
promises of promotion, and soon found himself at 
the head of a party powerful enough to defy the 
Pope himself. 

He treated both Joanna and the Queen Dowager 
with the greatest insolence, and claimed everything 
in the right of Andrew alone, making Joanna 
practically a State prisoner, while the Hungarians 
pressed themselves everywhere, to the exclusion of 
the Neapolitan princes and nobles. 

The princes of the blood, banished from court 
by the haughtiness of the Hungarians, retired to 
their own castles, leaving Joanna to the mercy of 
these barbarians — the lamb among wolves, as Petrarch 
so aptly called her. The lamb, however, was not 
altogether unprotected. Philippa was with her, and, 
for the first year after King Robert's death, the 
Dowager Queen remained at Castel Nuovo, where 
Joanna and Maria resided with her. 

The Lamb among Wolves 51 

The Princess of Taranto also continued to live in 
Naples with her daughters, whilst her eldest son 
Robert was absent fighting for her real or supposed 
rights as the titular Empress of Constantinople. 
This princess, seeing that Andrew was a mere tool 
in Friar Robert's hands, and utterly incapable of 
appreciating either Joanna's beauty or her talents, or 
of doing anything except eat and drink, began, it is 
said, to plan a marriage with Joanna and her second 
son, Louis, trusting, if she succeeded in winning 
Joanna's affection for Louis, to persuade the Pope to 
annul her marriage with Andrew. 

There seems no doubt that the Princess of 
Taranto did try to divert the young Queen's 
affections from her boorish, idiotic husband to her 
own handsome, learned, brave, and attractive son, 
and in all probability it is equally true that Philippa 
the Catanese aided and abetted her in this to the 
best of her power ; but that Nicholas Acciajuoli 
joined in this vile conspiracy to tempt Joanna to be 
unfaithful to her first husband, as some historians 
assert, is believed by Costanzo, whom we are 
following, to be a libel on so upright and honourable 
a man. Acciajuoli owed everything to Robert, and 
common gratitude to the late King would prevent 
him from joining in a plot to compromise Joanna's 
honour, in days when the marriage-tie was not so 
easily broken as now. 

Louis, as the sequel will show, was by no means 

5 2 The Beautiful Queen 

so blind to his cousin's charms as was her husband 
Andrew, but there is not a scrap of evidence to 
show that the young Queen at this time had 
any but a cousinly affection for Louis ; on the 
contrary, she was so watched and guarded by the 
Hungarians, that had she shown any preference for 
Louis, Friar Robert and his creatures would have 
been only too glad to seize upon any pretext to get 
rid of her and secure the throne for Andrew alone. 
Joanna was too fond of her grandfather, to whose 
commands and wishes, both before and after his 
death, she showed implicit obedience, and too 
innocent, to think of such a thing as abandoning 
her lawful husband for another more attractive 

In the October following Robert's death Petrarch 
again visited Naples for two purposes. He was 
deputed by the Pope to assert his right to ad- 
minister the government of the kingdom during 
the minority of the King and Queen, and further 
charged by his friend and protector, Cardinal 
Colonna, to obtain the release from perpetual im- 
prisonment of the Pipini brothers, the Counts of 
Minervino, Lucera, and Potenza. They had been 
sentenced to life-long imprisonment in the castle of 
Capua by King Robert, for besieging Count Marra in 
his casde of that name. The Pipini were friends of 
the Colonna family, whom they assisted in their 
quarrels with the Orsini, their hereditary enemies, 

The Lamb among Wolves 53 

and the municipal authorities of Rome. Soon after 
his arrival in Naples, Petrarch wrote to Cardinal 
Colonna, and in his letter gives such a graphic 
description of Naples that we cannot do better than 
quote parts of it, for Petrarch was a very effusive 
correspondent, and his epistle is too long to be 
quoted in full. 

He says : " Immediately on my arrival in Naples 
I visited the two Queens, and went to treat with 
the council on the subject of my coming. But oh 
infamy of the world, what a monster ! May Heaven 
rid the soil of Italy of such a pest. ... I mourn 
for thee, Naples, my beloved ! that thou art 
rendered like to one of these Saracens — no pity, 
no truth, no faith, a horrible animal, with bald head 
and bare feet, short in stature, swoln in person, with 
worn-out rags torn studiously to show his naked 
skin, who not only despises the supplications of 
thy citizens, but from the vantage ground of his 
feigned sanctity treats with scorn the embassy of 
the Pope. Yet this is not marvellous, because his 
pride is founded upon the treasures he accumulates, 
for from what is reported it appears that his caskets 
full of gold do not accord with the rags he wears. 
Perhaps you would know his name : he is called 
Robert, succeeding, in this place, to that Robert 
lately dead who was as much the honour of our 
age as this is its eternal infamy." 

Having enlarged on this theme, he continues 

54 The Beautiful Queen 

further on : " He wears nor crown nor brocade nor 
silk, but with a squalid mantle, filthy and torn, which 
covers but half his swollen body, and with a crouch- 
ing gait, bent not by age, but by hypocrisy, he rules 
with unutterable arrogance and tyranny the courts 
of both Queens, oppresses the weak, treads justice 
under foot, confounds all things human and divine, 
and like a new Palinurus or Tiphys * sits at the head 
of this great vessel, which from what I can discern 
will quickly go to the bottom, as all the mariners 
are like himself, except the Bishop of Cavaillon, who 
as much as he can takes the side of justice, abandoned 
by all the others." 

He goes on to tell the Cardinal to relate these 
things to the Pope, and to add that the Apostolic 
embassy would have been received with more 
reverence by the Saracens than it was in Naples. 
He also says he has been three or four times 
to visit the Capuan prisoners, who place all their 
hope of release in the Cardinal. The old Queen 
has great pity on them, but can do nothing to help 
them, as Friar Robert was determined to keep them 
in prison ; Joanna and Andrew might have mercy 
on them, if Friar Robert and Nicholas, the governor 
of the King, would permit them. 

If Friar Robert had never done anything worse 
than refuse to release these turbulent Pipini, we 
should not have much to say against him, for they 
1 Palinurus and Tiphys were pilots 

The Lamb among Wolves 55 

were not worthy of the interest Cardinal Colonna 
took in them ; and their subsequent release, which 
Petrarch persuaded Andrew to grant, only hastened 
the catastrophe which was impending on this un- 
happy King. 

Petrarch had many opportunities of conversing 
with Joanna during this visit, and was struck 
with her talents and learning. She would fain 
have attached him to her court ; but as at that 
time she was a Queen in name only, without 
power to do good to any one, as she pathetically 
said of herself, this was impossible ; but she was 
able to appoint him her domestic chaplain and 
almoner, an office only bestowed upon people of 

Shortly before coming to Naples for the second 
time, Petrarch had received further preferment from 
Pope Clement VI., who made him Archdeacon of 
Parma, and at the end of 1342 conferred upon him 
the Priory of St. Nicholas, Pisa. 

The deed by which Joanna appointed the poet 
her domestic chaplain was signed on the day of 
a most terrific tempest, which occurred while 
Petrarch was in Naples, and is described by him 
with his usual eloquence. This storm was caused 
by a violent sirocco, and was felt on all the shores 
of the Mediterranean, but spent its worst fury 
on Naples. It was predicted a few days before 
by the bishop of one of the neighbouring islands, 

5 6 The Beautiful Queen 

as a scourge from God ; he also prophesied that 
the city would be destroyed by an earthquake on 
November 25th, when the storm actually happened. 

Happily this second part of the prophesy was 
not fulfilled, but it spread such terror through 
the city that the inhabitants prepared for death, 
leaving their business unattended to, and when 
the first signs of the storm broke women rushed 
half-clothed, with their babies in their arms, to the 
churches, where they prostrated themselves on 
the floor praying for mercy. 

Petrarch, who confesses he was frightened by 
the general consternation, went to spend the night 
in the monastery of St. Laurence, where he went 
to bed shortly before midnight, the monks having 
retired at their usual hour. 

" Scarce had I closed my eyes," he says in a 
letter he wrote the day after the earthquake, " when 
I was awakened by the loud rattling of my chamber- 
windows. I felt the walls of the convent violently 
shaken from their foundations. The lamp which 
I always keep lighted through the night was ex- 
tinguished. The fear of death had fast hold of me. 

"The whole city was in commotion, and you 
heard nothing but lamentations and confused ex- 
hortations to make ready for the dreadful event. 
The monks, who had risen for Matins, terrified 
by the movements of the earth, ran into my chamber 
armed with crosses and relics, imploring the mercy 

The Lamb among Wolves 57 

of Heaven. A prior whose name was David, and 
who was considered a saint, was at their head. We 
proceeded to the church, which was already crowded, 
and here we remained during the rest of the night, 
expecting every moment the completion of the 

"We all threw ourselves on the ground, and 
implored aloud the mercy of Heaven, expecting 
from time to time that the church would fall 
upon us. 

" It is impossible to describe the horrors of 
that infernal night. The elements were let loose. 
The noise of the thunder, the winds, and the 
rain, the roarings of the enraged sea, the con- 
vulsions of the heaving earth, and the distracted 
cries of those who felt themselves staggering on 
the brink of death, were dreadful beyond imagina- 
tion. Never was there such a night. As soon 
as we apprehended that day was at hand, the altars 
were prepared, and the priests vested themselves 
for Mass. Trembling we lifted up our eyes to 
Heaven, and then fell prostrate upon the earth. 

" The day at length appeared. But what a day ! 
Its horrors were worse than those of the night. 
No sooner were the higher parts of the city a 
little more calm, than we were struck with the 
outcries which we heard from the sea. Anxious 
to discover what was passing there, and still ex- 
pecting nothing but death, we became desperate, 

5 8 The Beautiful Queen 

and instantly mounting our horses we rode down 
to the shore. 

" Heaven ! What a sight ! Vessels wrecked 
in the harbour ; the strand covered with bodies, 
which had been dashed against the rocks, and 
appeared like so many eggs which had been 
broken in pieces. Nor were the shrieks of the 
men and women who inhabited the falling houses 
close to the sea less terrible than the roaring of 
the sea itself. Where the day before we had gone 
to and fro on the dusty path was now a sea more 
dangerous than the Straits of Messina. You could 
not pass in the streets without the risk of being 

tf More than a thousand Neapolitan knights came 
from all sides to the spot where we were, as if to 
assist in the funeral obsequies of their country. 
This splendid troop gave me a little courage. 'If 
I die,' I said to myself, c I shall still be in good 

" Scarce had I made this reflection whan I heard 
a dreadful clamour everywhere around me. The 
sea had sapped the foundations of the place where 
we were standing, and it was at this instant giving 
way. We fled therefore immediately to more 
elevated ground. Here we beheld a most tre- 
mendous sight. The sea between Naples and 
Capri was covered with moving mountains ; they 
were neither green as in the ordinary state of 

The Lamb among Wolves 59 

the ocean, nor black as in common storms, but 

" The young Queen rushed out of the palace 
barefooted, her hair dishevelled, and her dress in 
the greatest disorder. She was followed by a train 
of females, whose dress was as loose and disorderly 
as her own. They went to throw themselves at 
the feet of the Blessed Virgin, crying aloud, ' Mercy ! 
Mercy ! ' and visited in turn all the churches of the 
Mother of God in the city. 

" Towards the close of the day the storm abated, 
the sea was calm and the sky serene. Those who 
were upon land suffered now only the pains of fear, 
but it was otherwise with those upon the water. 
Some galleys from Marseilles and Cyprus were sunk 
before our eyes, nor could we give them the least 
assistance. Larger vessels from other nations met 
with the same fate, in the midst of the harbour. 
Not a soul was saved except one galley of four 
hundred criminals, under sentence of death, who 
had been reserved as a forlorn hope, to be exposed 
in the first expedition against Sicily. They were a 
hardy set of men, and struggled with the storm, 
and when the ship began to sink ran aloft and clung 
to the rigging. At this moment the tempest was 
appeased, and these poor convicts were the only 
ones whose lives were saved in the port of Naples. 
Lucan says, 'Fortune preserves the guilty.'" x 

1 "Life of Petrarch," by Mrs. Dodson (London, 1805). 

60 The Beautiful Queen 

This graphic description of the terrible scene, we 
may take it, does not in any way underestimate the 
horrors of this historical storm and earthquake, for 
Petrarch's style was picturesque ; and at any rate both 
he and Joanna recovered sufficiently from their terror 
to sign the document making him her chaplain the 
same day, for it bears the date of November 25 th, 
1343. Petrarch concludes his letter by vowing 
that nothing shall ever make him risk his life on the 
sea after witnessing the destruction of that storm. 
" I will leave the air to the birds, and the sea to the 
fish, for I am a land animal, and to the land will I 
confine myself. I know very well the divines insist 
there is as much danger by land as by sea. It may 
be so. But I beseech you to permit me there to 
give up my life where I first received it. I like that 
saying of one of the ancients, ' He who is ship- 
wrecked a second time cannot lay the fault upon 
Neptune.' " x 

The state of Rome at this time was in the 
utmost disorder, for the quarrels of the! barons 
and the insurrections of the populace made the 
Eternal City a constant scene of bloodshed. Naples, 
according to Petrarch, was not much better ; for in 
another letter which he wrote on this visit he says 
the streets at night "are filled by young men of rank 
who are armed and attack all who pass, without 
distinction — they must fight or die. This evil is 
" Life of Petrarch," by Mrs. Dodson (London, 1805). 

The Lamb among Wolves 61 

without remedy ; neither the authority of parents, 
the severity of the magistrates, nor the power of 
kings has been able to suppress it. But it is not 
surprising that such actions are committed by night, 
when they kill each other for diversion in open day." 

Here Petrarch is alluding to combats resembling 
those of gladiators, which were at this time the 
favourite amusement of both sexes and all ranks 
in Naples. They took place in a part called the 
Carbonaria, amid the most brilliant and magnificent 
assemblage of nobility in Europe. Petrarch was 
induced to go to one of these entertainments, at 
which the young King and Queen were present ; 
but he left in disgust after seeing a young nobleman 
expire at his feet, whereupon he put spurs to his 
horse and fled. 

He used all his eloquence to try to disgust the 
Neapolitan nobles with these barbarous tournaments, 
but in vain ; they would not be persuaded to give 
them up. 

It was during this visit of Petrarch to Naples 
that Joanna, for her own amusement and that of her 
courtiers, established her " Court of Love," or 
" Parliament of Love," as these courts were called. 
They settled difficult questions on subjects connected 
with love and marriage, composed by their arbitration 
the quarrels of lovers, and awarded prizes to poets 
and other writers. 

Joanna was chosen as President of the Court of 

62 The Beautiful Queen 

Love, which was organised this year for her birthday- 
feast, and a story is told in connection with it which 
throws a light on the relations of Andrew and 
Joanna. It seems that when Joanna took her seat 
under the canopy erected for her, there was another 
empty seat a little below hers, and Andrew tried to 
take it, but the young Queen waved him away from 
it, saying : 

" Fair sir ! I reign here alone ; you cannot share 
my authority." 

Andrew retired in a fury, and Petrarch unrebuked 
took the seat. 

During the banquet it was the custom for 
presents to be brought in, and Joanna gave them 
to whom she pleased. These gifts were of various 
kinds — armour, hounds, falcons, jewellery, etc. 
On this occasion Joanna gave Louis of Taranto 
a steel mask for his face, and sent a falcon to 
Andrew, who angrily refused it. 

" Take the bird to your mistress, and let her give 
it to whom she likes. I accept no constrained 
courtesy," he said. 

Joanna, who saw Andrew's action if she did not 
actually hear his rude words — which in justice to him 
must be allowed to have had some provocation — was 
as angry as Andrew had been when she waved him 
away from the seat by her side, but said nothing. 

Presently seeing her displeasure, Nicholas the 
Hungarian, Andrew's tutor, made some excuse for 

The Lamb among Wolves 63 

the young King, but Joanna angrily and haughtily 
told him that it was his evil counsels which had 
prompted Andrew's insult. 

This glimpse at this Court of Love gives a 
better idea of the relations which existed between 
Joanna and her boorish husband than could be 
conveyed by pages which might be written upon the 
subject. The little scene is so natural : first Joanna 
smilingly waving the young King, who was seldom 
sober, away from the seat of honour to which he 
aspired ; his subsequent sulky refusal of her gift 
given according to custom, and her girlish anger 
and pique at his rudeness ; finally her royal rebuke 
of the Hungarian tutor, who was the cause of much 
of the friction between the young King and Queen. 

Petrarch remained in Naples until the end of 
December, and before he left, Andrew went himself 
to the Castle of Capua, and by his own authority 
set free the Pipini brothers. This is the only act 
of vigour he ever performed, but he was probably 
prompted to it by Friar Robert, who wanted to 
attach these dangerous men to his party. Andrew 
acted apparently in this instance from compassion, 
and then took a great fancy to the three liberated 
prisoners, whom he could not bear out of his sight, 
and made great friends of them. The Pipini soon 
began to presume on his favour, and grew more 
violent and overbearing than before their imprison- 
ment, and only increased the hatred which the 

64 The Beautiful Queen 

Neapolitans were beginning to feel for Andrew per- 
sonally, dreading as they did the encroachments of 
the Hungarians ; moreover, they now feared that the 
weakness of his mind would make him the tool of 
any one to whom he took a fancy. 

While on the one hand the Neapolitans were 
dreading the ascendency of the Hungarians and 
their party, Friar Robert, who knew that his rule 
could only last during the extreme youth of Joanna, 
now eighteen, began to fear her great popularity 
with the people and the best of the nobility, the 
favour which she enjoyed of the Pope, and her 
superior abilities. To counteract all this, the wily 
friar wrote to Louis of Hungary, Andrew's eldest 
brother, begging him to come to Naples and marry 
the Queen's sister Maria, according to the testament 
of Robert, and to seize on the kingdom itself in his 
own right, as the heir of his grandfather, Charles 
Martel. Louis of Hungary was only too ready to 
fall in with these plans, but they were met by a 
counter-plot of the house of Durazzo, as we shall 
see directly. 

The Dowager Queen Sancha remained only a year 
in the world after her husband's death, and about 
the first anniversary of it entered the convent of 
Poor Clares in Naples, which she had herself founded 
some years before. Sancha had always, as we have 
said before, hankered after the religious life, and 
now seized the first opportunity of retiring from a 

The Lamb among Wolves 65 

world she despised, to join the strictest Order in 
the Catholic Church and exchange the luxury of the 
most refined court in Europe for the coarse habit, 
and inclined board as a bed, of the Poor Clares. 
It turned out fortunate for her that she did so, 
before the impending tragedy which involved the 
ruin of so many. 

Petrarch's epitaph on King Robert may fitly close 
this chapter. " Here lies the body of King Robert. 
His soul is in heaven. He was the glory of 
kings, the honour of his age, the chief of warriors, 
and the best of men. Skilful in the art of war, he 
loved peace. . . . His genius equalled his valour, 
he unravelled the holy mysteries, he read the events 
of Heaven. The Muses and the Arts mourn their 
protector. All the virtues lie buried in his tomb. 
No one can praise him as he deserves, but Fame 
shall make him immortal." 

Plots and Counterplots 

' I "HE Durazzos, it will be remembered, were the 
-*■ youngest branch of the Angevine family. King 
Robert's youngest brother, the Duke of Durazzo, 
had married Maria of Perigord, the sister of Cardinal 
Talleyrand — a name that became celebrated through 
the distinguished diplomatist who lived four hundred 
years later. 

The Duchess of Durazzo was a widow at the 
time of King Robert's death. She was living in 
Naples with her three sons, Charles, Louis, and 
Robert, and her daughters, all of whom were well- 
known members of the Neapolitan Court. Charles 
was a handsome man and a brave soldier, but un- 
scrupulous and ambitious, and report said was very 
fond of his cousin Joanna, and certainly quite alive 
to the advantages of a marriage with her sister, 
Maria of Sicily, whom King Robert had assigned by 
his will to Louis of Hungary. 

As soon as Maria was of marriageable age, the 


Plots and Counter-plots 67 

Duchess of Durazzo set to work to win her affections 
for her son Charles, just as the widowed Princess of 
Taranto was endeavouring to estrange Joanna's 
affections from her husband Andrew in favour of 
her son Louis, but with this difference — that Maria 
was only betrothed to Louis of Hungary, while 
Joanna was actually the wife of Andrew. 

The Duchess persuaded her brother, Cardinal 
Talleyrand, to induce Pope Clement VI. to grant 
Maria a dispensation to enable her to marry the 
Duke of Durazzo, who was her first cousin, once 
removed. Clement, who was always only too ready 
to oblige his friends, consented without in this case 
considering what the consequences would be of this 
marriage of the heir-apparent to the Neapolitan 
throne. Had he given it more thought, he would 
have seen that it not only threatened Joanna's in- 
terests, but might also prove dangerous to her crown. 

Maria was living at Castel Nuovo with the Queen 
Regnant, and the Dowager Queen Sancha, who had 
not yet entered the monastery of Poor Clares ; and 
the Duchess visited her constantly, and, having 
succeeded in setting Maria against the Hungarians, 
was soon able to persuade her to give up Louis of 
Hungary, whom she had not seen, for the Duke 
of Durazzo, whom she knew well. She then made 
all the necessary arrangements for the marriage : 
she seems to have had a genius for intrigue, and 
to have planned everything very cleverly, for she 

68 The Beautiful Queen 

managed to get Maria out of the palace and 
married to Charles before the child (for she was 
only fifteen) was missed. 

When it was discovered one fine day that the 
heir-apparent to the throne had been abducted and 
married to the Duke of Durazzo, thereby setting 
her grandfather's will at defiance, there was great 
consternation in the palace. The two Queens, 
Joanna and Sancha, were furiously angry, for Joanna, 
though so young, was old enough and wise enough 
to see what dangerous consequences might result to 
herself from it ; for Louis of Hungary was not likely 
to submit quietly to being thus cheated of his bride, 
and would probably revenge himself by invading 
Joanna's kingdom. Moreover, the fact that the 
Duke of Durazzo's grandmother was a princess of 
Hungary increased the danger to Joanna's throne, 
as the Hungarians were only too ready to dispute 
her right to it; and from their point of view, this 
gave the Duke some claim to it himself, and was 
what he was aiming at secretly. 

It was immediately after this elopement that the 
Queen Sancha retired to her convent, leaving Joanna 
under the care of Philippa the Catanese. She took 
the habit, and died before she had been more than 
a year in the monastery, being probably too old to 
stand the austerity of the rule : she was thus happily 
spared the knowledge of the terrible tragedy which 
was impending and its consequences. 

Plots and Counterplots 69 

Angry as Joanna was with Maria and Durazzo, 
she soon forgave them both, and was reconciled 
to them, perhaps feeling the need of her sister's 
society and sympathy in the midst of her own 
difficulties and troubles, surrounded as she was by 
Friar Robert's boorish and ambitious Hungarians. 

Meanwhile the Princess of Taranto and Philippa 
seem to have been pursuing their infamous design 
of trying to undermine Joanna's loyalty to her 
young husband, trusting that as the Pope had been 
so accommodating in Maria's case as to give her the 
necessary dispensation to marry Durazzo, he would 
be equally obliging in Joanna's, and pronounce her 
marriage null and void. Whether Joanna was aware 
of these designs we cannot tell at this distance of 
time and among so many conflicting reports. She 
must have known of the daily increasing unpopu- 
larity of the Hungarians, and probably shared in 
the desire to get rid of the odious Friar Robert, 
but there is no evidence to show that she wished 
to be separated from Andrew. 

In the course of 1344 Clement VI. appointed 
Cardinal Americus as his legate, to govern the 
kingdom during Joanna's minority ; and on August 
28th the beautiful young Queen received the in- 
vestiture of the crown from his hands, and took 
the oaths according to the customary ceremonies, and 
on the same conditions as her predecessors, Andrew 
being only a spectator. It was the Cardinal's in- 

7° The Beautiful Queen 

fluence which achieved this stroke of policy, and he 
afterwards did his best to control the authority of 
Friar Robert, but he did not succeed very well, for 
he was a stranger in Naples, and therefore ignorant 
of the most important affairs of State, and all those 
who were opposed to his appointment withheld the 
necessary information from him. 

Friar Robert was, as we have seen, popular among 
the lower orders, who believed in his reputed sanctity. 
Joanna, seeing everything going to ruin, now wrote 
to the Pope and begged him to allow her to govern 
for herself, without the interference of either legates 
or guardians. Clement, on account of her youth — 
for she was not yet seventeen — refused this request ; 
and she then wrote another letter to him, begging 
him to recall Cardinal Americus, and appoint in 
his place Philip de Cabassole, the Bishop of Cavaillon, 
whom King Robert had in his will placed at the 
head of the Council of Regency with Queen Sancha, 
and with his last breath had committed the care of his 
kingdom and the charge of his grandchildren to him. 

This good bishop, who was afterwards made a 
Cardinal and Patriarch of Jerusalem, was also a 
friend of Petrarch, who says of him "that he was 
a great man with a little bishopric," Cavaillon being 
only a small town near Avignon and also near 
Vaucluse, where Petrarch frequently retired when 
he wished to live in seclusion. Philip was of noble 
birth, and had been made a canon at the age of 

Plots and Counterplots 71 

twelve, according to a mediaeval custom of conferring 
these nominal preferments upon boys and youths, long 
before they were old enough to be ordained. The 
Cabassoles had always been attached to the Angevine 
family, who, with their usual generosity to their 
dependents and friends, had loaded them with 
benefits. The Bishop had remained at Naples after 
Robert's death, and had showed his anxiety to do 
all he could for the late King's family. 

Clement VI. knew this, and, recognising the 
reasonableness and wisdom of Joanna's request, 
gave his consent immediately, and the result was 
some mitigation of the miseries of the people and 
of the indignities to which the royal family had 
been subjected by the Hungarians. 

The tyranny and rapaciousness of these barbarians, 
whose object was to wrest the kingdom from Joanna 
in favour of the Hungarian family, had so roused 
the great barons and the princes of Taranto and 
Durazzo that they now determined not to consent 
to the coronation of Andrew on any terms. Louis 
of Hungary had already tried to obtain a Bull from 
Avignon for his coronation in right of his grand- 
father, Charles Martel, but the Neapolitans had 
refused to take the oaths of allegiance to him, 
except as the consort of Joanna, and now they 
refused to acknowledge him as king, dreading, as 
they had good cause to dread, the increase of any 
Hungarian influence. 

7 2 The Beautiful Queen 

The Duke of Durazzo, as the husband of Maria 
of Sicily, was peculiarly interested in this question, 
and no sooner was he married to Maria than he 
began to intrigue not only against Andrew, but 
against Joanna also. Through his uncle, Cardinal 
Talleyrand, he secretly represented to the Pope at 
Avignon the danger which would ensue for Naples 
if Andrew were crowned, in which case the Nea- 
politans feared their kingdom would become merely 
a province of Hungary. Clement considered their 
representations, and delayed to grant the Bull for 
the coronation for two years after Robert's death ; 
then the court of Hungary is said to have sent 
the Pope's council a bribe of 100,000 florins, after 
Which Clement issued a Bull for the coronation of 
Andrew and Joanna, but of Andrew only as the 
Queen's consort, without giving him any personal 
claim to the crown. The date for the coronation 
was fixed for September 20th, 1345. 

Before coming to the events that occurred on the 
eve of this long-delayed coronation, it will be as well 
to take a glimpse at the condition of Europe at this 
time, and then briefly to recapitulate the conflicting 
interests in the Neapolitan court, so as to bring 
before our readers the principal dramatis persona 
in what came perilously like an Adelphi drama. 

Pierre Roger, who took the title of Clement VI. 
when he ascended the Papal throne in the year 
King Robert died, 1342, was, as his name implies, 

Plots and Counterplots 73 

a Frenchman, and the fourth of the Avignon Popes. 
He loved magnificence and pomp, and the notori- 
ously luxurious court of Avignon was never more 
luxurious than under his rule. He was fond of 
the society of ladies, and allowed them to frequent 
his court ; he became a great friend of Joanna's, 
as will appear. He had many great qualities. He 
was frank, noble, and generous to a fault, and 
dispensed his favours with both liberality and grace. 
His failing, of which his detractors have made 
the most, was a love of luxury. On the other 
hand, his benevolence was equally great, and at 
the time of the plague, when in 1348 it visited 
Avignon, he not only gave most lavishly to the 
hospitals and sufferers, but enacted very wise laws 
for its suppression. Naturally highly gifted, he spent 
much of his time in study, and had such an excellent 
memory that Petrarch says he never forgot anything 
that he read : indeed if he had wished to do so he 
could not. 

He admired Petrarch, and offered him the post 
of apostolic secretary ; but nothing could induce 
the poet to accept it — probably because he dis- 
approved of the luxury of the Avignon court and 
the licentiousness of the city, for it was never in 
a worse state than during the reign of this gentle 
and refined pontiff. 

The struggle between the Empire and the Papacy 
was still going on when he came to the throne, 

74 The Beautiful Queen 

though Louis the Bavarian, who for the last thirty 
years had troubled the peace of the Popes, had now 
pretended to submit. In 1344, however, he had 
the impudence to convoke a diet at Frankfort, which 
he induced to protest against, what they described 
as, the ambition and violence of the Pope. 

Clement VI. thus provoked determined on 
the deposition of Louis in favour of Charles of 
Luxembourg, who was elected in 1346, and ascended 
the throne the following year under the title of 
Charles IV., when Louis died. Thus ended the long 
contests between the Papacy and the Empire. 

Clement published two Bulls for the protection 
of the Jews from the persecutions to which they 
had been subjected under his predecessors, and he 
extended the Jubilee, which then only occurred every 
hundred years, to every fifty years. This was 
a very popular action with the Romans, for the 
year of the Jubilee brings an enormous number 
of pilgrims and other visitors to Rome, and the 
citizens made a good harvest out of it and also in 
the sale of pious articles, rosaries, medals, and other 
objects of devotion. 

The year after Clement came to the throne, Cola 
de Rienzi, the great Roman patriot, came to Avignon 
at the head of a deputation of the Romans to urge 
the Pope to return to Rome ; but they were un- 
successful, as Clement refused to leave Avignon 
for Rome, the scene of constant struggles between 

Plots and Counter *plots 75 

the rival barons and the people. On Rienzi's return 
to Rome he incited the citizens to rise against the 
nobles, his hatred of them having been excited by 
the assassination of his younger brother some years 

Rienzi's romantic career is so well known that 
we need only refer to it here, remembering that he 
was afterwards sent back to Avignon as prisoner 
and confined by Clement VI., and released by his 
successor Innocent VI., who sent him back to Rome 
to crush the nobles again. His tragic fate was due 
to his haughtiness, which disgusted the people who 
had formerly idolised him. 

War between England and France was still going 
on when Clement came to the throne. Benedict XII., 
who for the time being had settled the quarrel 
between the Papacy and Louis of Bavaria, had also 
succeeded in getting a truce proclaimed between 
Edward III. of England and Philip VI. of Valois, 
but it only lasted for a year. Edward was disputing 
the throne of France with Philip on the ground 
that being a nephew of the deceased King Charles IV., 
through his mother Isabella, Charles's sister, he was 
therefore a degree nearer to the throne than Philip, 
who was only cousin-german to Charles. The 
Salic law, however, which excluded women from the 
succession, prevailed in France, so there was no real 
ground for Edward's pretensions. Friction between 
the two monarchs had further arisen, first by Edward 

76 The Beautiful Queen 

having received Robert of Artois, who had been 
banished from France, and then Philip had returned 
the compliment by receiving David Bruce, who had 
been dethroned from Scodand by Edward Balliol, 
whom Edward III. supported. 

Louis of Bavaria sided with the English, and 
had also declared war against Philip, while Edward 
was now expected to invade France. His first 
attempt at invasion through Flanders had failed ; 
but all Europe was disturbed and suffering from 
this war between its two mightiest monarchs, 
and Clement did his best to make peace, but only 
succeeded so far as to get another truce proclaimed, 
but it was not long observed. 

The robber bands of mercenaries which followed 
in the wake of both armies were a terror to all 
Italy, as well as to France, where they penetrated 
as far as Avignon, so that even a French Pope was 
annoyed by the depredations of the French King's 

If the state of France and Italy was such as to 
give great anxiety to the Holy Father, when he 
turned his eyes to Spain things were not much 
better there. A struggle was going on there which 
all Europe was watching with interest, between the 
Moors who had overrun the country and the 
Christians. Besides this religious strife, civil war 
was disturbing the Peninsula, between the nobles 
and priests on the one hand, and on the other the 

Plots and Counterplots 77 

members and representatives of a confederacy of 
towns which had joined together for mutual defence 
and had developed into a sort of Cortes. 

It was really a struggle between the aristocracy 
and the democracy, and in 1350, when Pedro the 
Cruel came to the throne, the struggle was further 
complicated by England taking the side of Pedro 
and the people, and France that of the nobles under 
Henry of Trastevera, an illegitimate son of the late 
King Alphonso XL, and half-brdther of Pedro. 

In Italy, Florence was at the head of all the other 
cities in art and civilisation, but it was the scene 
of constant combats between the Guelphs and the 
Ghibellines. Naples, as we have said before, possessed 
the most refined and cultivated court in Europe. 
Rome was a prey to broils and insurrections, to 
robbers and assassins, which while they rendered 
expedient in some ways the exile of the Pope, were, 
at the same time increased by his absence. 

Venice was governed by a council of ten, with the 
Doge at their head, possessing terrible powers over 
the rest of the State ; and here and in Siena and all 
the Italian cities, which were all independent States, 
a constant struggle was going on, not only between 
rival nobles, but also between nobles and people, 
while the entire peninsula was to a large extent at 
the mercy of all those marauding bands of mercenaries 
which infested it, such as the White Company. 

A celebrated contemporary of Joanna at Naples 

78 The Beautiful Queen 

was Marina Faliero, a distinguished military hero, 
who, after being at war for years with the Hungarians, 
finally defeated them in 1346, and some years later 
was made Doge of Venice. He had a beautiful 
young wife, whose romantic story and the subsequent 
tragic ending of the Doge's life have been the subject 
of Byron's drama " Marino Faliero," and of Swin- 
burne's tragedy. 

In Scandinavia, where the people were slowly 
emerging from the dark night of paganism into the 
glorious light of Christianity, there had arisen a 
celebrated prophetess and politician, a Swedish prin- 
cess, afterwards a canonised saint of the Church — 
St. Bridget of Sweden, wife of Ulf, Prince of Nericia, 
who left her a widow in 1345. She afterwards 
became a friend of Joanna, whose court she visited 
several times, once under very romantic circum- 
stances, as we shall presently see. St. Bridget played 
a great part in trying to induce Clement VI. to 
leave Avignon and return to Rome, but she did 
not succeed : it was left to the daughter of the 
dyer at Siena, St. Catherine, to accomplish finally 
the work of bringing back the Popes to the Eternal 

But to return to Naples, where the beautiful 
young Queen and her boorish husband were 
surrounded by conflicting influences. On the one 
hand were Friar Robert in his dirty, ragged habit, 
and his insolent and semi-barbarian Hungarians, 

Plots and Counter 'plots 79 

hated by all the Neapolitans, with an old nurse of 
Andrew's in the background ; on the other side 
were Philippa the Catanese, still a very handsome 
woman, and her granddaughter Sancha, Charles, 
Duke of Durazzo, and his child-wife Maria, the 
Queen's sister, his mother, the Dowager Duchess of 
Taranto, the widowed Empress of Constantinople, 
Catherine of Valois, widow of Philip, Prince of 
Taranto, and her three sons, the Bishop of Cavaillon, 
the Queen's aunt, the Princess Maria of Sicily and 
her satellite and lover, Boccaccio, a frequent visitor 
at this brilliant court, and Nicholas Acciajuoli, the 
handsome Florentine, afterwards promoted by the 
Queen to be Grand Seneschal of the kingdom, for 
whom the Empress of Constantinople is said to have 
had more than a Platonic friendship. Indeed, it was 
her indifferent reputation and her intimacy with 
Nicholas which led to his being accused of being the 
actual murderer of Andrew. 

Two other conspicuous personages at the Nea- 
politan court at this time were Charles Artus, Grand 
Chancellor of Naples, and a member of the Council 
of Regency, appointed by the late King Robert and 
his son, both of whom were also great friends of 
the Empress of Constantinople. 


The Murder of Andrew 

TT was the custom of the Angevine Kings and 

*■ Queens of Naples to leave the city during the 

summer, when the heat became intolerable, and take 

up their abode in one of their delightful summer 

residences, or more often in one of the monasteries 

which they had founded, in the neighbourhood of 

Naples, where the beautiful gardens and spacious 

apartments formed a pleasant retreat from the cares 

of State and the noise and sultriness of the city. 

In 1345 Joanna had special reasons for desiring 

to get away from Naples, for she was expecting to 

become a mother at the end of the year; and in 

the month of August she and Andrew removed 

to the castle of Aversa, to enjoy the cool retreat 

of the gardens in the Celestine monastery close by, 

and to escape the preparations for their coronation 

in Naples next month. Aversa is situated about 


The Murder of Andrew 81 

twelve miles north of Naples, in the enchanting 
scenery of the district known as " the happy Cam- 
pania." In this fatal year, 1345, Aversa consisted 
of little more than its grand old castle, which be- 
longed to the Crown, and a fine old Celestine 
monastery with lovely grounds, the town not having 
recovered from its demolition by Charles of Anjou, 
who destroyed it to punish the inhabitants for having 
sided with some barons who were averse to his 
policy. Hence its name, Aversa. 

The castle was surrounded then by olive-woods, 
and orange-gardens, and dark forests of cedars and 
other trees; and in this delightful retreat, relieved 
from the presence of the odious Friar Robert, who 
remained behind to govern the kingdom, the young 
Queen enjoyed her villeggiatura, looking forward 
openly to her approaching coronation, and secretly 
dreaming of the fulfilment of her hopes of maternity 
at the close of the year. 

But while Joanna, in her youthful innocence, 
dreamt of the splendour and pomp of her coronation, 
in which she took a girlish and natural pride and 
delight, and meditated upon the still more sacred 
and purer joys of motherhood, which the poorest of 
her subjects were also privileged to enjoy, these 
coming events were casting a shadow over the pages 
of history which time will never efface. 

These two circumstances, the coronation and the 
birth of an heir to the throne, were the immediate 


82 The Beautiful Queen 

causes of the murder of the young king ; for the 
Neapolitans feared that when once Andrew was 
crowned, Friar Robert, who ruled him, would rule 
them, and tyrannise more than ever over the king- 
dom ; and in the next place, they anticipated that the 
birth of an heir to the throne would endear Andrew 
to the Queen, and give him fresh claims upon the 
affection and loyalty of the people. 

So while the young sovereigns were enjoying the 
combined pleasures of court and country life, of 
music and dancing, of the tales of the poet and 
the songs of the troubadour, of the outdoor sports 
of falconry and tournaments, a vile plot was being 
hatched among the courtiers for the assassination of 

Although Friar Robert was left in Naples, some 
of the Hungarian suite had accompanied Andrew 
to Aversa, and it is particularly noted that his old 
nurse, Isolda, who was passionately attached to him, 
was staying in the castle. At this distance of time 
it is impossible to fix the guilt of this odious murder 
of the young King upon anyone ; but it is possible, 
judging from the known character of some who were 
accused of it, and in the knowledge of subsequent 
events, to acquit at least two of them of complicity 
in it. 

We may dismiss at once as altogether improbable, 
if not impossible, the theory that Joanna had any 
part in it, and equally unlikely is it that a man of so 

The Murder of Andrew 83 

fine a nature as Nicholas Acciajuoli was the actual 
murderer, as is stated by de Sade in his Life of 
Petrarch ; and many other writers have copied him, 
without questioning what a little more knowledge 
of the man would have shown was at least highly 

Acciajuoli's intimacy with the Empress of Con- 
stantinople seems to have been the cause of his being 
accused, for the probability seems to be in favour of 
the opinion that this princess, whose moral character 
would not bear investigation, was one of the 
principal conspirators against Andrew, her well- 
known desire being to see her son Louis in his 

Philippa the Catanese is believed by some writers 
to have known of and sympathised with the plot, 
her motive being to deliver Joanna, whom she 
idolised, from her boorish husband, who appears 
to have been totally blind to her charms. But first 
and foremost of all the conspirators was undoubtedly 
the ambitious and unscrupulous Charles, Duke of 
Durazzo, who is frequently accused of being one of 
the actual assassins. 

For six weeks the young Queen and her husband 
led a happy and gay life at Aversa, whose pro- 
pinquity to Naples permitted the daily coming and 
going of all those courtiers who were not living 
at the Castle. 

September 20th had been fixed as the date of the 

84 The Beautiful Queen 

coronation of Joanna as Queen and of Andrew as 
King-consort, and on the eve of that day a great 
banquet was given at the Castle to celebrate the 
great occasion fitly. 

The sovereigns appear to have retired early to 
rest in view of the fatigue of the coronation on the 
following day ; the Hungarian courtiers and atten- 
dants had as usual taken more than was good for 
them, and were sunk in too deep a sleep to hear the 
subsequent disturbance, but the conspirators Were 
wide awake, bent on executing their fell purpose. 

In the adjoining monastery the black-robed monks 
who had risen at midnight for matins, had gone 
to bed again, and all there was quiet when in the 
dead of the night, between one and two o'clock, one 
of the Queen's ladies of the bedchamber, Mabrice, 
sister of Andrew's chamberlain, Jacobo de Pace, 
entered the royal bed-chamber in haste, and told 
the King that a courier from Friar Robert had just 
arrived with dispatches of great importance, and 
desired to see him upon State business. 

The poor, unsuspecting young King rose at once, 
and dressing hurriedly left the sleeping Queen, to 
proceed to another apartment at the end of a long 
gallery where,- instead of the supposed courier being 
in attendance, the conspirators were assembled. 
These are believed to have been Charles Artus and 
his son, Jacobo de Pace, Michael de Mirazzano, 
Andrew's chamberlain, Philippa's son the Count of 

The Murder of Andrew 85 

Evoli, and her son-in-law the Count de Trelice, and 
Raymond of Catania, the Grand Seneschal. 

Directly the King left the bed-chamber, some of 
the conspirators locked the door, either to prevent 
the Queen from coming out and raising an alarm, 
or to hinder Andrew from returning. When the 
unfortunate young man, who was not yet twenty, 
had reached the middle of the corridor, he was 
surrounded and seized by some of the conspirators. 
To muffle his cries one thrust an iron gauntlet into 
his mouth, another threw a rope round his neck to 
strangle him, others knelt upon his chest; and. then 
they dragged him to the balcony and hanged him 
over it, while their accomplices in the garden below 
seized his feet and strangled him by pulling them. 
Not content with thus brutally murdering him, 
according to some accounts, they actually dis- 
embowelled him, and were about to bury his remains 
in a ditch in the garden, intending to say that 
he had left Italy for Hungary, when they were 

It appears that his faithful nurse, Isolda, slept in 
a room under the balcony, and was awakened by the 
sound of his falling body when they cut the cords 
which held it suspended. Whether she guessed who 
the victim was, or whether she saw it was the King, 
we do not know, but she managed to run to the 
monastery close by and awaken the monks, who 
hastened to the garden, where their arrival dispersed 

86 The Beautiful Queen 

the murderers, who were now about to bury the 

The tears and lamentations of Isolda were probably 
the most sincere that honoured the mangled corpse 
of the unfortunate victim of this foul murder, for, 
in spite of his unattractiveness, as to which all writers 
are agreed, his old nurse loved him passionately — 
perhaps because of those very weaknesses — and her 
faithful heart was torn with grief and horror at the 
marks of violence on his corpse as she prepared it 
for burial. 

The monks carried the remains into the church 
of the convent, and watched it and prayed for the 
repose of his soul, until three days later he was 
taken to Naples to be buried. 

There are many versions of the account of this 
murder, no two of which agree in detail with each 
other ; but the above is taken from Costanzo, the 
most reliable of the biographers of Joanna. Some 
later Italian writers have given their imaginations 
play and concocted scenes which probably never 
occurred. For instance one, Rastrelli, says that the 
Hungarian Isolda, on entering the Queen's apart- 
ments in the morning according to her usual custom, 
found Joanna sitting up by the bedside, and when 
she asked where the King was the Queen, laughing, 
replied that she did not know. The nurse then 
went out, and, following a miraculous light, found 
Andrew's body lying on the ground below the 

The IVIurcler of Andrew 87 

balcony. Thinking that he was asleep, she returned 
to Joanna and said, " Your Majesty, the King sleeps 
in the garden"; to which the Queen answered, "Let 
him sleep there." Isolda, still unsatisfied, went down 
again to the garden, where her appearance put the 
murderers to flight and she discovered the truth. 

Those who, like Muratori, suspected Joanna of 
complicity in this atrocious crime represent the 
Hungarian nurse as rushing into the Queen's room, 
after she had discovered the murder, and informing 
Joanna of it, and state that when others, drawn by 
her cries to the room, confirmed the report, " the 
Queen was so conscience-stricken, and so great was 
her confusion, that she could not even rise from 
the spot, but lay there until the morning was far 
advanced, and knew not how to raise her tearless 
eyes, or to look up at any one." 

Thus does the malignant spirit of calumny 
interpret the poor young Queen's most natural 
behaviour upon hearing of such a terrible catastrophe 
as that which had just happened. Her tearlessness 
was no proof of guilt ; on the contrary, it is often 
a sign of the deepest feeling — of grief too deep for 
words, too bitter for tears. She was evidently 
paralysed with horror ; tears would have been a 
blessed boon, but they were denied her, and the 
child was yet unborn who might have brought them 
"like a summer tempest." Nor could they praise 
the unfortunate victim, either " soft and low " or 

88 The Beautiful Queen 

hard and high, for there seems to have been little 
to praise and much to blame in the late King. If 
Joanna's calumniators had nothing more incriminating 
to go upon than her behaviour on the morning 
following the murder, there would not be the slightest 
foundation for their accusations ; on the contrary, 
her conduct was exactly what might have been 
expected from any young wife on such an occasion. 

She says of herself, in a most touching letter 
which she wrote to Andrew's brother the King of 
Hungary : " Stunned by grief I had well-nigh died 
of the same wounds " ; and there is not the slightest 
reason for doubting that this was the very truth. 

Another historian says of her : " The Queen, who 
was only eighteen years old, trembled so that she 
did not know what to do with herself." 

Later in the morning Joanna rose, and in a terrible 
state of agitation and fear left Aversa, and returned 
to Naples ; and calling all her best friends around 
her, asked their advice in the horrible calamity 
which had befallen the royal house. 

The first thing to be done was to send letters 
to inform the Pope and the King of Hungary, and 
messengers were at once dispatched with the ghastly 
news to Rome and Hungary, In the above- 
mentioned letter from the young widowed Queen 
to Louis of Hungary, Joanna implored the King's 
protection for herself and her unborn child. How 
Louis responded to this appeal will presently appear. 

The Murder of Andrew 89 

Another ridiculous charge brought against Joanna 
is that she left the body of Andrew unburied for 
three days, and that then it was brought to Naples 
and buried by the canons of the cathedral at their 
own expense. The facts were that the body was 
left in the charge of the Celestine monks in their 
church at Aversa until the necessary arrangements 
could be made in Naples for the funeral ; and these 
for a king could not be completed sooner, for the 
funeral rites and ceremonies due to Andrew's rank 
were elaborate, and if he had been hurriedly buried 
the scandalmongers would have seen in this 
precipitation fresh proof of guilt and a desire of 

At the end of the three days the body was brought 
to Naples, and laid in the chapel of St. Louis in the 
cathedral with many tears and lamentations. It is 
said that the Neapolitans showed the greatest horror 
of the crime, and Andrew's undeserved sufferings 
moved the hardest hearts to sympathy ; this circum- 
stance is recorded unanimously by all historians. 
Indeed, the murder of Andrew sent a thrill of horror 
all over Europe ; there was not a court that was not 
horrified and scandalised by it. 

The reproach brought against Joanna that she 
allowed the canons of the cathedral to pay for the 
funeral is absurd : it was their duty to perform 
the ceremony, for the Neapolitan sovereigns were 
always buried in the cathedral, and it was probably 

90 The Beautiful Queen 

the custom for these canons tp bear some of the 
expenses, just as the canons of St. Peter's at Rome 
had to pay for the greater part of the Popes' funeral 

The faults of Andrew have probably been 
exaggerated by his contemporaries, for it was the 
policy of Joanna's friends and enemies alike to 
paint him as black as possible : her friends did so 
to excuse her if she were guilty of connivance in his 
assassination, her enemies to find a motive for the 
personal repulsion they supposed her to feel to 
such an extent as to make her an accomplice in 
his murder. 

He is described as a ferocious boor, a glutton, 
a drunkard, and a semi-idiot, with low propensities 
and gross habits. On the other hand, Petrarch, who 
knew him personally, writing when the shock of 
his murder was fresh in his mind, to his friend 
Barbatus of Sulmone, calls him " the most gentle 
and inoffensive of men, a youth of a rare disposition, 
a prince of great hopes." The poet also says that 
he foresaw that some dreadful calamities threatened 
this unhappy kingdom, but that he did not imagine 
that a young and innocent prince would be the first 
victim sacrificed to barbarity. 

Petrarch's praise must be discounted by, the fact 
that Andrew's release of the Pipini had won his 
regard and gratitude, and also by the consideration 
that the poet's eloquence often led him to exaggerate. 

The Murder of Andrew 91 

The just measure of Andrew's character is perhaps 
somewhere between Petrarch's praise and the blame 
of Italian historians. 

Possibly Andrew, had he lived, might have de- 
veloped later in such a way as to justify the hopes 
of which Petrarch speaks ; but his culpable indolence 
and consequent gross ignorance made him a mere 
tool in the hands of Friar Robert and his tutor, 
Nicholas of Hungary, whose ambition and tyranny, 
by rousing the hatred of the Neapolitans against 
the Hungarians, had contributed to the deplorable 

Another cause of the assassination was undoubtedly 
connected with the Pipini. When King Robert had 
imprisoned these counts, he enriched certain of the 
Neapolitan nobles with their spoils : when Andrew 
released them from their captivity, and took them 
into such great favour, these nobles feared they 
would fall into the hands of the Pipini, and be 
deprived by them of their fortunes and probably 
of their lives also. 

Among them were the son and sons-in-law of 
Philippa the Catanese, and they were peculiarly 
obnoxious to Robert, and the probability is that 
they, being greatly interested in getting rid of 
Andrew, were among the conspirators. Philippa 
has been universally condemned as being implicated 
in the guilt of the Count of Evoli, her son, and 
her sons-in-law, but in her favour it must be said 

92 The Beautiful Queen 

that neither she nor her grand-daughter Sancha 
was in the gallery or near the royal bed-chamber 
at the time of the murder. 

The Duke of Durazzo may or may not have 
devised the plot against Andrew ; but if we give 
him the benefit of the doubt in this case, it is 
certain that he cannot be acquitted of almost as 
cruel a crime in trying to destroy Joanna by openly 
accusing her of the murder of her husband, in order 
to rise himself on her ruin. He held her up to 
universal execration ; and if he did not murder the 
King, he murdered the fair name and reputation 
of the young Queen. 

Charles Artus and his son, whether innocent or 
not, behaved as if they were guilty, for they fled 
precipitately immediately after the murder had 
taken place, and took refuge with the Empress 
of Constantinople, who has in consequence been 
accused, with great presumption of truth, of being 
one of the conspirators. But if the letters which 
the King of Hungary afterwards alleged that the 
Duke of Durazzo wrote to Charles Artus were 
genuine, Durazzo was certainly one of the con- 
spirators, for in this letter the murder was planned 
and arranged. In spite of his vile assertions 
against Joanna, not a particle of circumstantial 
evidence was ever forthcoming against her, or 
against Louis of Taranto, in all the inquiries which 
followed, and the only evidence against Nicholas 

The Murder of Andrew 93 

Acciajuoli was his intimacy with the Empress of 

Much has been made by Joanna's enemies of 
the fact of the court going to Aversa. They allege 
that she inveigled Andrew there in order to get rid 
of him more easily, but we have already explained 
the reasons for this customary villeggiatura. We 
must now note that the only historians of any 
repute, contemporary with Joanna, who have accused 
her of complicity in the murder were the two 
Villanis, both very credulous men, and Matthew 
Villani was an intimate friend of Nicholas the 
Hungarian, the tutor of Andrew. It was, of course, 
to this man's interest to calumniate Joanna, for the 
only hope the Hungarians had of regaining their 
ascendency in the kingdom was by destroying 
Joanna's influence and reputation. 

After the King of Hungary received the Queen's 
touching letter, containing the terrible news of 
Andrew's assassination, he issued a manifesto to 
all the sovereigns of Europe announcing the death 
of his brother ; and it is very remarkable, in view 
of his subsequent conduct, that he makes no 
accusation against the Queen in this first document ; 
later on, when he found that it might be practicable 
to seize her kingdom, he inculpated her. Then 
it was that Pope Clement VI., who was in a 
better position to know the truth than any one 
else in Europe, wrote a letter to Louis, in which 

94 The Beautiful Queen 

lie said, "As to the murder of Prince Andrew, 
Joanna can neither be convicted nor suspected of 
it, and still less has she confessed it." 

Petrarch was convinced of her innocence, and, 
although he was not at Naples at the time of the 
murder, he obtained all his information from his 
intimate friend, the Bishop of Cavaillon, who was 
on the spot. 

Boccaccio was also at the court when the tragedy 
occurred ; and he and two of the most celebrated 
lawyers of the day, Angelo and Baldus of Perugia, 
not only believed in Joanna's innocence, but also in 
her incapability of such a crime, Angelo calling her 
" a most holy Queen, the honour of the world and 
the light of Italy." And here we may mention 
that Joanna is known to this day among Neapolitans 
as " the good Queen Jane " ; and as the boatmen 
row past the grim castle of Muro, in which she 
was eventually imprisoned and murdered, they raise 
their caps in honour of " the good Queen." 

But the most conclusive piece of negative evidence 
in favour of Joanna is the fact that her great and 
cruel enemy, Pope Urban VI., himself a Neapolitan, 
once Archbishop of Bari, when he fulminated his 
Bull of excommunication and deposition against 
Joanna, never breathed a word of reproach or accu- 
sation of her having consented to the murder of 
her first husband. Lastly, all the best Neapolitan 
and Provencal historians, and all the most enlightened 

The Murder of Andrew 95 

of her contemporaries, have entirely exonerated her 
in this matter. 

One of Villani's assertions against Joanna, prompted 
no doubt by Nicholas the Hungarian, is that she 
showed little or no concern at the death of her 
husband ; but this is flatly contradicted by the 
repeated declarations of Pope Clement VI., that she 
always expressed the greatest horror at the murder 
of Andrew, and deplored his tragical fate with the 
deepest grief. 


What followed the Murder 

"NTOWHERE did the assassination of Andrew 
*■ ^ rouse more interest and cause more sensa- 
tion than at Avignon, whose magnificent Papal 
palace stood in Joanna's dominions, for as heiress 
and Countess of Provence she owned the whole 
of that province, through the Angevine line. The 
people of Provence never wavered in their allegiance 
to Joanna, whom they called " la bonne Reine 
Jeanne," and so long as Provence remained distinct 
from the French monarchy her memory was idolised 

Immediately Clement VI. received the Queen's 
letter announcing the tragedy which had befallen 
her, he ordered Philip de Cabassole, who had been 
created a Cardinal with the title of St. Mark, to hold 
an inquiry into the crime and to punish the mur- 
derers : the Pope did this because he had assumed 
the government of Naples during Joanna's minority. 


What followed the Murder 97 

The Cardinal was ordered to keep the evidence 
secret if it implicated the Queen or any of the 
royal family, but he was unable to arrive at any 
definite conclusion. 

Some of those who were suspected of being 
conspirators fled to their own castles and fortified 
themselves there ; some, it is said, were put to death 
secretly ; others, who were arrested on suspicion, 
were taken out of prison at night by those who 
dreaded that they might confess and incriminate 
them, and to prevent this they cut out their 

The rumour that Joanna was a participator in 
the crime was at first only whispered, but it was 
fostered no doubt by Friar Robert and the Hun- 
garians, till it grew louder and louder, and the 
poor young Queen found herself surrounded by 

Naples was in such a state of anarchy that the streets 
were unsafe. The young noblemen and officers 
went about armed, challenging the passers-by to 
open combat, which frequently ended in loss of life ; 
while the great barons in their castles openly defied 
what government there was, and highwaymen infested 
the roads, robbing and murdering any travellers 
they happened to meet. Two or three months 
thus elapsed without any of the conspirators being 
brought to justice. Joanna is blamed most unjustly 
by her detractors for this delay, but it was clearly 


9 8 The Beautiful Queen 

no fault of hers. The Pope having placed the reins 
of government in his legate's hands, she was power- 
less to exercise any legal authority. If she had 
interfered with the Cardinal's efforts, her enemies 
would have said that she wanted to turn aside the 
course of justice, and that her guilty conscience 
prompted her- to intervene. Moreover, if she had 
possessed the legal power to act, her delicate state of 
health would have incapacitated her from exercising 
it, as the birth of her child was daily drawing nearer. 

Shortly before Christmas the Bishop of Cavaillon, 
who was far too meek and gentle to cope with a 
situation so distasteful to him, obtained the Pope's 
consent to his resignation of his appointment as 
head of the Council of Regency, and to his return 
to his bishopric in Provence ; and on December 23rd 
he embarked from Naples for Marseilles, but a 
violent storm drove him ashore on the coast of 
Herculaneum, where he landed with difficulty. In 
the meanwhile a great commotion was going on at 
Castle Nuovo : the Queen was taken ill, doctors 
and ministers of State were summoned to the 
palace to await the interesting event, and while 
the storm was still raging Joanna gave birth to a 
son and heir. 

The Pope had already promised to stand god- 
father to her child, and the Cardinal Bishop was 
required to represent His Holiness. Baptisms in 
Italy are celebrated within twenty-four hours of 

What followed the Murder 99 

birth, so messengers were at once dispatched to 
Herculaneum to bring back the shipwrecked Cardinal 
to stand proxy for the Pope. 

It was the custom to name the Neapolitan princes 
after the paternal grandfather, and Joanna scrupu- 
lously observed this etiquette, and named her son 
after Andrew's father, Canrobert, the late King of 
Hungary. There were great rejoicings in Naples 
at the birth of an heir to the throne, and these were 
a great consolation to Joanna, who looked upon 
them as proofs of the affection and loyalty of the 
greater part of the nation. 

The day after the baptism the Bishop of Cavaillon 
re-embarked for Marseilles, but he was caught in 
a more terrific storm than before ; and as he himself 
relates in his autobiography, which he wrote shortly 
afterwards, he was saved this time miraculously by 
St. Mary Magdalene, the patron saint of Marseilles, 
whom he invoked. Petrarch was in Provence at 
this time ; and when the Cardinal arrived at Avignon 
in January, the two friends met, and having heard 
de Cabassole's account of the assassination of 
Andrew and all he had done to discover the con- 
spirators, Petrarch wrote the letter from which we 
have quoted, to his friend Barbatus of Sulmone. 
Surely if there had been the slightest truth in the 
scandalous rumours about Joanna, the Cardinal 
would have told his intimate friend, who always 
believed in the Queen's innocence. 

loo The Beautiful Queen 

Immediately after the Cardinal left Naples the 
Pope sent two bishops to the Neapolitan court 
to take charge of the young prince, for Joanna 
being a minor was not allowed to bring up her 
own child. Perhaps Clement may have feared that 
there might be some foul play, as he knew the 
Queen was surrounded by traitors, and the murder 
of the King had made the Neapolitans a byword 
all over Europe ; at any rate the Bishops of Padua 
and Monte Casino arrived at Castel Nuovo before 
the baby was a month old. 

Joanna was now eighteen, and as soon as she 
had recovered from the birth of the child she sent 
for the most trusted friends of the late King Robert, 
and took counsel with them as to the best means to 
be pursued to bring the murderers of her husband 
to justice. She did not wait to ask the Pope's 
sanction, knowing he would refuse it on account of 
her youth; but she acted on her own initiative, and 
displayed that good sense and wise policy for which 
she was afterwards so famed. 

A deputation from the nobility of Naples waited 
upon the Queen, and begged her to take the ad- 
ministration of affairs into her own hands now that 
the Cardinal legate, who had signally failed in his 
mission to discover the conspirators, had retired. 
The members of this deputation with remarkable 
frankness told the Queen of the rumours which 
were afloat about her complicity in the murder, 

What followed the Murder 101 

saying that some boldly accused her of it, and adding 
that the disaffection was growing daily. 

Her next move was to cause to be affixed to her 
palace-walls and to other public buildings a severe 
edict against the conspirators. She then signed; a 
commission empowering one of the Neapolitan 
barons, named Hugh de Baux, to execute justice 
on all who were found guilty, without respect of 
persons. This edict was signed in February, 1846 
(old style) — that is, five months after the assassina- 
tion, but the reasons for the delay have, we hope, 
been made sufficiently clear to exonerate the Queen. 

Joanna now wrote a second letter to Louis of 
Hungary, from which we shall quote the most 
salient passages. She says : 

" I hear that many wonder that I have suffered 
the parricides [sic] who have slain my husband and 
your brother to go so long unpunished. What is 
this, then ? Why do the people accuse me of this 
great iniquity, when I have always dearly loved King 
Andrew, my excellent husband, and he as long as 
his life lasted always lived in peace with me ? But 
whatever the rest of men may suspect, I earnestly 
desire that you should believe that it has not been 
possible for me to avenge this great injury done to 
me, from my ignorance of the assassins, and from 
the difficulties of the times, and that I have suffered 
so much anguish of mind from the murder of my 
beloved husband that, stunned by grief, I had well- 

102 The Beautiful Queen 

nigh died of the same wounds." The last sentence 
has been quoted before in this book, but it is as well 
to repeat it with the context in which it so naturally 
occurs and seems to give such unconscious evidence 
of her innocence. For if she had found Andrew a 
peaceable, excellent husband whom she loved tenderly, 
why should she have consented to his murder ? 

Hugh de Baux's methods of getting at the truth, 
or attempting to do so, were barbarous in the ex- 
treme, but they were the constant practice of the 
age in which he lived. He seized some of Andrew's 
chamberlains and proceeded to torture them, to 
extract so-called confessions, in which no sort of 
confidence could be placed, for the victims would 
say anything when on the rack. 

The Duke of Durazzo opposed the original plan 
of holding these ghastly inquisitions in the halls of 
the public courts of justice, where all the people 
would have heard them, and instead examined the 
prisoners in his own palace. This on the face of 
it looks very suspicious, and as if the Duke had 
only too good reason to fear that he might be 
accused himself ; whereas if the examination was held 
under his roof, the victims would say anything and 
accuse any one but the Duke, in the hope of cutting 
short their sufferings. 

The chamberlains, Nicholas di Mirazzano and 
Jacobo de Pace, made many accusations. Among 
others they accused Charles Artus and his son — no 

What followed the Murder 103 

doubt justly ; and then it was that these two fled 
to the Empress of Constantinople. Others who 
were accused of being in the plot fortified them- 
selves in their castles, while Philippa and her son 
the Count d'Evoli, her son-in-law, her grand- 
daughter Sancha and her husband, who were also 
denounced, were all living either in the Castel 
Nuovo or in Naples, and daily frequenting the 

Now it is very remarkable that none of those 
who were tortured, either now or later, ever accused 
Joanna of being in any way connected with the 
crime, and apparently she had never for one moment 
suspected Philippa — her father's foster-mother, the 
old tried friend of her grandfather and Queen 
Sancha, and her own faithful nurse and governess 
and friend, who had been all but a mother to her 
— of having had any part in the conspiracy. 

Philippa and her granddaughter Sancha had con- 
tinued to live at Castel Nuovo with Joanna, and 
we can fancy Philippa, who had nursed Joanna and 
her father, now idolising the infant prince. She had 
evidently been with the young Queen all through 
the terrible trials which had befallen her, and there 
is no doubt that Joanna was greatly attached to her ; 
and therefore it can be imagined how great was her 
horror when the messengers of Hugh de Baux, 
to whom she had given such absolute power over 
the murderers when he had discovered them, arrived 

104 The Beautiful Queen 

at the palace to arrest Philippa and Sancha. They 
are said to have been sitting with the Queen, either 
at their spinning-wheels or embroidery-frames, when 
the guards entered the room and dragged them 
forcibly from Joanna's presence, in spite of her pro- 
testations, which were in vain. Philippa, who must 
have been nearer seventy than sixty at this time, is 
described by some writers as a decrepit old woman, 
while others say she was still handsome, though it is 
true that Sicilian and Neapolitan women age much 
sooner than their Northern sisters, so it is possible 
the Catanese may have been old in appearance as 
well as in years. 

Sancha was only about twenty, a young wife 
in the prime of her beauty ; but neither her youth 
nor Philippa's age availed them anything. They 
were dragged down to the sea-shore, and there, 
in the presence of crowds of people, were tortured 
in a manner too horrible to describe. The mob 
was not allowed to come near enough to hear what 
the sufferers said under torture, but they were able 
to witness the horrible proceedings. 

A place was prepared for the execution of these 
two unfortunate women, who, whether guilty or 
not, evoke our sympathy for the brutal manner in 
which this so-called justice was administered. To 
the scaffold they were dragged on a sledge, but, 
happily for her, Philippa died on the way thither, 
exhausted by the torments to which she had been 

What followed the Murder 105 

submitted ; while Sancha, whose tortures were even 
more horrible than her grandmother's, was burnt 
alive. Philippa was disembowelled, and her head 
affixed to one of the gates of the city. Her son, 
the Count d'Evoli, and her son-in-law, the Count of 
Trelice, were not executed until August 2nd, and a 
few days later some of the other barons who were 
arrested were put to death. The mob was so 
demoralised that after these executions they mangled 
the bodies of the executed conspirators with their 
teeth and nails out of sheer vicious ferocity. It 
is said that the Count d'Evoli was much favoured 
by Joanna in the beginning of her reign, but she 
was as powerless to save him from execution as 
she had been in the case of Philippa and Sancha. 

Joanna's whole life was, to some extent, saddened 
by these events, for she was tenderly and deeply 
attached to Philippa, and Sancha had been the 
companion of her childhood and youth, for they 
had been brought up together ; while Philippa had 
never been separated from her for a single day 
ever since her birth until the day she was dragged 
from her to torture and death. 

From that day the young Queen, taught by this 
most bitter experience, never wholly trusted any one 
again ; from henceforth she bore alone the cares 
of royalty, and the solitude of those whose high 
rank places them above their fellow men. 

Before these trials befell the young Queen she 

io6 The Beautiful Queen 

is said to have been of a most joyous disposition, 
full of mirth and high spirits, loving gaiety and 
all the pleasures of the court ; but from henceforth 
dignity and majesty are the first characteristics 
mentioned in every description of her. In private 
life she was from this time kind and affable rather 
than gay and lively, while in public life she was 
noted for her masculine energy and firmness. 

Boccaccio says of her that " from the time that 
she began to govern not in name only, but in fact, 
she conducted herself with so much prudence that 
she daily transacted the affairs of State with barons, 
warriors, counsellors, and other ministers, with 
such unblemished fame that neither the eyes nor 
ears of envy ever perceived anything with which 
to calumniate her. She was modest in her manner 
of living, and the very character of her beauty 
was rather that of majesty than ot softness or 
voluptuousness." Yet she ever retained a charm 
of manner, which together with her beauty made 
her the centre of admiration of her brilliant court 
and the idol of the fcourtiers who surrounded her, 
while the fame of her majestic, or, as some writers 
say, angelic loveliness was a theme of conver- 
sation in all the courts of Europe. 

It is not certain what became of Charles Artus 
and his son. It is said by some authors that they 
were imprisoned at Benevento, and put to death 
privately there, out of respect to King Robert, of 

From an engraving after the painting by Titian. 

p. ro6] 

What followed the Murder 107 

whom Charles Artus the elder is believed to have 
been the natural son. Other writers deny this, 
and say that he was the husband of Robert's natural 
daughter, the Princess Maria of Sicily. 

The Empress of Constantinople, who had sheltered 
them, died in the October following the execution of 
Philippa and Sancha. Her death took place at Naples. 
She was the last of the Queen's relatives of the elder 
generation, except Maria of Sicily ; and as now the 
Duke of Durazzo had rebelled against her, she was 
deprived of the society of her sister, and, the friends 
of her youth having fallen on the scaffold, she was 
more than ever alone. 

The Princess of Taranto died without living to see 
the marriage of Joanna and her second son Louis 
accomplished, for which she had certainly planned 
and plotted — if she had not actually, as many believe, 
arranged the assassination of Andrew to make way 
for Louis. 

The next trial that befell Joanna was civil war, 
brought about by the rebellion of the Duke of 
Durazzo, who now openly accused the Queen of the 
murder of her husband, and hoisted his standard 
against her. He was joined by his own brothers and 
by his cousin Philip, the youngest of the sons of the 
Empress of Constantinople, whose youth made him 
a prey to the flattery of Durazzo. 

Robert, the eldest of the Princes of Taranto, had 
just returned from Greece, and he and his second 

108 The Beautiful Queen 

brother Louis took Joanna's part, and commanded 
her troops and went out to meet the Duke of 
Durazzo's forces. But while these princes were 
fighting against each other, both were dreading that 
the King of Hungary would invade the kingdom 
to avenge his brother's death. 

Joanna, foreseeing this event, had sent an embassy, 
with the Bishop of Tropea at its head, to Louis 
of Hungary, after the birth of her son, to deliver 
the letter we quoted above, and the Bishop did not 
return until early in the following year, 1347 (old 

Friar Robert and Nicholas the Hungarian had 
already gone back to Hungary, fearing the power 
of their adversaries after the death of Andrew ; and 
they had of course given their version of what had 
happened to their master, and had succeeded in so 
misrepresenting Joanna that they had convinced 
him of her guilt, and Louis, burning with rage 
and the desire of revenge, was now making alliances 
with other powers, and preparing a large army to 
invade Joanna's dominions. 

The Bishop of Tropea reported all these things 
to Joanna on his return, and the threatening letter 
he brought with him from the King of Hungary 
to Joanna fully confirmed his observations. 

Louis, King of Hungary, surnamed the Great, 
who had succeeded his father Canrobert, or Charobert, 
in 1342, was one of the most powerful European 

What followed the Murder 109 

monarchs of his time. His father had left the 
kingdom to him after it had acquired under his 
government a high degree of splendour, for it 
embraced Bosnia, Servia, Croatia, Wallachia, Mol- 
davia, Dalmatia, and Transylvania, besides Hungary- 
proper. Louis was most warlike and ambitious : 
he fought successfully the Transylvanians, the 
Croatians, Wallachians, and Venetians, and, as we 
shall see, twice during Joanna's reign he invaded 
Naples and made himself a terror to the in- 

His father, we know, had considered he had a 
claim on the kingdom ; and when Joanna's sister, 
Maria of Sicily, whom Friar Robert had advised 
Louis to marry, eloped with Charles of Durazzo, 
Louis was intensely annoyed, for this, as the wily 
friar foresaw, would have been a stepping-stone to 
the coveted crown of Naples, which probably Louis 
would in any case have endeavoured to wrest from 
Joanna. The murder of Andrew gave him some 
pretext for attempting this, and when it was 
announced to him his wrath and desire of revenge 
as well as of conquest knew no bounds, and are 
apparent in the following letter to Joanna. 

" Joanna ! your former irregular life, your con- 
tinuing to retain the power of the kingdom, your 
neglected vengeance, and your subsequent excuses 
prove you to have been a participator in the death 
of your husband. Remember, that none may escape 

no The Beautiful Queen 

the Divine and human vengeance due to such 
enormous iniquity." 

This threatening and historic letter is supposed 
to contain the strongest arguments against Joanna 
that can be urged ; but happily the four so-called 
proofs of her guilt can be refuted. The first 
accusation of leading an irregular life is an absolute 
calumny for which there is no evidence, and is 
dismissed by de Sade as insupportable. As Hallam 
points out, " The name of Joanna of Naples has 
suffered by the lax repetition of calumnies." He 
adds that " the charge of dissolute manners so 
frequently made is not warranted by any specific 
proof or contemporary testimony." 

The second accusation that she continued to 
retain the power of her kingdom only shows what 
Louis was aiming at. What else should the Queen 
have done ? It was her kingdom, and Andrew's 
death in no way detracted from her claims. While 
her husband was alive the poor young Queen had 
no power in her own kingdom, as we have seen, 
for Friar Robert and his Hungarian followers had 
supplanted her and her interests. 

The third accusation, of " neglecting vengeance," 
we have been endeavouring to show was unavoidable 
under the circumstances in which Joanna was placed. 

The fourth, of her " subsequent excuses," is more 
difficult to refute, if we endorse the French proverb 
" qui s'excuse s'accuse " ; but if Joanna had taken 

What followed the Murder m 

the more dignified course of behaving as if she were 
like Caesar's wife, " above suspicion," and had 
scorned to defend herself, they would have said 
that her silence gave consent to the assertions of her 

The poor young Queen found herself in most 
difficult circumstances. It was most perplexing 
to know how to act, surrounded as she was on all 
sides by treason and treachery, her every action 
cruelly criticised, and the worst interpretation put 
upon all her deeds : she did the best she could, and 
if venomous tongues aspersed her fair fame it was 
no fault of hers. Directly she received Louis's cruel 
letter she called together her councillors and laid it 
before them, who recommended immediate prepara- 
tions for defending the kingdom from the impending 
invasion which it was clear Louis was bent upon 
attempting, and, as a most necessary preliminary step, 
they counselled their sovereign to marry again. 

Joanna Marries a Second Time 

THE consort chosen by the councillors for the 
Queen was Louis of Taranto, the prince who 
is accused by Joanna's enemies of having been 
her paramour. The very fact that her ministers 
suggested him as the most suitable husband for 
her should be the answer to this calumnious report ; 
for unless they desired that all future historians 
should write them down asses, would they have 
been so sublimely foolish as to choose for her pro- 
tector and the partner of her throne her supposed 
lover ? They must have known that there was not 
a particle of truth in this scandal or they would 
never have dared to set all Europe talking by 
marrying Joanna to the man her enemies and 
detractors said was criminally intimate with her. 

Louis was at this time twenty-five ; he is described 
as both handsome and charming, renowned for his 
valour and also for his talents. He was proposed 

Joanna Marries a Second Time 113 

to the Council as a suitable husband for the Queen 
by his eldest brother, Robert of Taranto, who had 
lately married a daughter of the Duke of Bourbon. 
The other councillors, feeling the necessity of con- 
ciliating the princes of Taranto, lest if this offer 
were rejected they should join their younger 
brother Philip and the Duke of Durazzo, immedi- 
ately agreed to the proposal. They were hampered 
in their choice, which was confined to the Neapolitan 
princes, for it would not have done at this juncture 
to propose a foreign prince ; neither the royal family 
nor the great barons would have agreed to that. 

There was no difficulty with either of the parties 
most interested in the marriage. Louis was known 
to be madly in love with his beautiful cousin and 
Queen, and Joanna is believed to have favoured 
his suit : she had known him from childhood, and he 
was from all accounts a very attractive man. Never- 
theless it was some months before the marriage was 
arranged. Louis, although a brave man in war, was 
very diffident in love, and finally it was his friend and 
tutor, Nicholas Acciajuoli, who did his wooing for 
him and made all the preliminary arrangements. 

The Duke of Durazzo opposed the marriage 
vehemently, for it was a death-blow to his hopes 
of securing the throne for his wife, Maria, which 
he and the Durazzos were labouring to do by 
calumniating Joanna, so as if possible to deprive 
her of the allegiance of her people. 


ii4 The Beautiful Queen 

The marriage took place on August 20th, 1347 
(old style), two years after the murder of Andrew ; 
but in spite of this fact Joanna's detractors have 
accused her of marrying before the year of her 
widowhood had expired, whereas two years all 
but a month had elapsed since Andrew's death. 
According to many writers, this second marriage 
was disapproved of by the other European courts, 
who had apparently heard the scandalous reports 
of the intimacy between Joanna and Louis and 
were only too ready to put the worst interpretation 
upon them. Of course it is quite possible that if 
Joanna had been consulted about her first marriage, 
she might have preferred the handsome, talented 
Louis of Taranto to the half-imbecile, boorish 
Hungarian prince to whom from motives of policy 
the late King Robert had wedded her. But even 
if this were so, it does not follow that there was 
anything wrong in her relations with Louis, although 
vicious tongues asserted that there was. 

As Louis was her cousin, a Papal dispensation 
was necessary to enable them to marry, and there 
is a difference of opinion among historians as to 
whether Joanna waited till this arrived, many 
asserting that she did not do so ; but Villani says 
that the Pope granted the dispensation, and at the 
same time made Louis Regent of the kingdom, 
but that the marriage caused " scandal to all zealous 
Christians " — whose zeal, we venture ^o think, would 

Joanna Marries a Second Time 115 

have been much better employed in saving their 
own souls than in criticising Joanna's conduct, 
which in no way concerned them. 

While the preparations were going on for the 
marriage Louis of Hungary sent ambassadors to 
the Papal court at Avignon, to demand the investi- 
ture of the kingdom of Naples for himself, thus 
excluding not only the reigning Queen, but also 
her little son Canrobert, or Charobert, for the name 
is spelt in both ways. Clement VI., however, 
refused to receive his ambassadors because he was 
an ally of the excommunicated Emperor Louis of 
Bavaria, who had brought this punishment upon 
himself, in the time of Pope Benedict XII., for 
denying the Papal authority in Germany. 

The Pope sent a message to the King of Hungary 
to say that nothing criminal had been proved against 
Joanna, and that even had she forfeited her throne 
the claims of Andrew's son could not be set aside. 
This was a great blow to Louis of Hungary, who 
had believed that the Pope would favour his cause 
at the expense of Joanna. 

His next move made about the same time was 
to lodge an accusation against Joanna and all the 
Neapolitan princes of the murder of his brother 
Andrew, at the court of Rienzi, now Tribune of 
Rome. He had a twofold object in appealing to 
Rienzi — first to enlist his sympathy and secure if 
possible his help, and secondly to justify himself for 

1 16 The Beautiful Queen 

the attack upon the Queen of Naples and her allies 
by casting a public slur upon their characters. 

The royal family of Naples did not disdain to send 
advocates to Rome to plead their cause and clear 
themselves from the odious stigma this accusation 
had cast upon them, and Rienzi listened to them, 
seated upon his throne in great pomp ; but he put 
off from day to day passing any judgment in the 
matter, and left it undecided. His own downfall, 
precipitated by the Count of Minervino, who ac- 
companied the Hungarian ambassadors to Rome, 
followed soon after, and the great Tribune was sent 
a prisoner to the Pope at Avignon, where he was 
cast into a dungeon. 

In the month of May preceding the marriage of 
Joanna and Louis, Nicholas the Hungarian, the for- 
mer tutor of Andrew, had returned to Aquila, near 
Naples, with large sums of money in his possession, 
with which he proceeded to bribe the Neapolitans 
whom he had won to his side on his previous 
residence in the kingdom, to forsake the cause of 
their lawful Queen and join that of the usurping 
King of Hungary, and unfortunately he succeeded 
in corrupting many of Joanna's subjects. He was 
joined by a rebel baron who had previously estab- 
lished himself at Aquila. 

It was these traitors within the camp which made 
the cause of Joanna and Louis of Taranto so des- 
perate : if all their subjects had been faithful, it 

Joanna Marries a Second Time 117 

is believed that, notwithstanding the large army 
the Hungarian King was bringing against the 
Neapolitans, they would have been able to repel the 

The Duke of Durazzo joined the Queen's party 
for a short time, because he had discovered that he 
himself was a greater object of vengeance to Louis 
of Hungary — who imputed Andrew's murder to 
his hand — than even Joanna herself. He never- 
theless contrived to injure her cause by his malice, 
even when nominally fighting for her, and soon after 
her marriage he raised the siege of Aquila and 
retired to his own dominions. 

The first division of the Hungarian army which 
entered Naples in October was commanded by the 
Bishop of the Five Churches, a natural brother of 
the Hungarian King : he is described by Villani as 
a wise and good soldier. It was the custom in the 
Middle Ages for bishops to go to battle, and even 
for popes to do so : our English Pope Adrian IV. 
led his troops against his arch-enemy, Frederick 
Barbarossa, so there was nothing unusual in this 

Such was the disaffection in the country, and so 
great was the terror Louis's threats of vengeance 
had kindled among the people, that many castles 
and towns surrendered to the Hungarian troops 
without resistance, and some of the nobles went 
over to the side of the enemy. One of the causes 

1 18 The Beautiful Queen 

of this treachery against Joanna was the unpopu- 
larity of the princes. The people themselves were 
indifferent to the royal cause partly because of 
the rumours that the Queen was concerned in 
the assassination of the late King, partly because of 
the ambition and haughty demeanour of the royal 
princes. Louis of Taranto, in spite of all these 
discouragements, collected an army at Capua large 
enough to stop the force of Louis of Hungary 
when he entered the kingdom in December. 

On reaching the frontier the King of Hungary 
was met by the Papal legate, who commanded him 
to retire in the name of the Pope, to whom the 
suzerainty of Naples belonged. Furthermore, the 
legate bade him cease from attempting any further 
vengeance against the innocent Queen, saying that 
two persons alone had been guilty of the murder, and 
those two had already been executed. It is most 
tantalising that the legate should not have mentioned 
the names of these two guilty people, and thus 
have solved the mystery of the murder of Andrew, 
which must remain now undisclosed until the day 
of judgment. 

Louis had the insolence to reply to this remon- 
strance by saying that he had come to take possession 
of a kingdom which by right belonged to him 
through his father Charles Martel (who, by the way, 
must not be confused with his illustrious namesake, 
the King of France who lived in the seventh century). 

Joanna Marries a Second Time 119 

The haughty Louis went on to say that he should 
not trouble himself about his excommunication, 
which he considered undeserved ; and as for the 
murderers of his brother, a dozen rather than 
two had been guilty of that crime. Having thus 
disrespectfully delivered his soul, his army continued 
to march to Naples via. Benevento, an ancient city 
standing upon a hill and surrounded by mediaeval 
walls, with a celebrated gate upon the north side 
erected in the year a.d. 114, in memory of the 
Roman Emperor Trajan, and called the Golden 

There were no standing armies in those days : the 
cavalry were the mounted nobles and knights, whose 
men-at-arms, bound under the feudal system to 
fight for their feudal lord, were the infantry. The 
mounted soldiers wore plate-armour and chain-mail, 
but gunpowder was now coming into use, and with it 
the wearing of armour decreased. We doubt very 
much whether the Hungarians and Neapolitans used 
gunpowder in this war, though the English did at 
Crecy in the previous year for the first time. More 
likely the half-civilised Hungarians were armed with 
cross-bows, swords, pikes, javelins, battle-axes, and 
sabres, while the foot soldiers were furnished with 
any weapon which came handy — very often with 
their flails ; but in spite of the indifferent equipment 
they fought with the greatest ferocity, and the 
Hungarians were more noted than the more civilised 

120 The Beautiful Queen 

Neapolitans for their fierce, barbarous methods of 

The Duke of Durazzo now basely betrayed Joanna 
to the Hungarians. Though he was still fighting 
nominally upon the Queen's side, he kept up a 
secret correspondence with the Hungarian camp, 
hoping ultimately to establish his wife, Maria, upon 
her sister's throne. Durazzo knew that even if the 
Hungarians should be victorious, which was still 
doubtful, the Neapolitans would never submit for 
long to their yoke. So he was playing a double 
game ; and sad to say many of the Neapolitan 
nobles followed his bad example, and courted the 
favour of the Hungarian King. 

Louis, desiring to strike terror into the Neapolitan 
people, had had a banner made of black silk or 
velvet, upon which was painted in most realistic 
style and colours a sensational picture of the assassina- 
tion of Andrew. This ghastly standard was borne 
by a band of mourners robed in black to heighten 
its effect. 

Finding herself deserted by so many of her sub- 
jects, and believing her cause to be hopeless, Joanna, 
disheartened by the vile reports current about her, 
determined to leave Naples and retire to Provence, 
where she as Countess of that country was idolised 
and certain of a welcome. Accordingly she called a 
general council of all the principal and wisest men 
of her kingdom, and with that eloquence for which 

Joanna Marries a Second Time 121 

she was so famed made a speech in which she 
declared to them the resolution at which she had 
arrived. She began by telling her audience of the 
danger which threatened the capital from the 
approach of the King of Hungary, who was now 
close at its gates, and of her powerlessness to 
resist him because of the calumnies which had 
been spread abroad by her enemies, who without 
any crime of hers had accused her of the most 
atrocious iniquity, insensible of the pity which they 
should have felt for their Queen, who in the 
earliest bloom of youth had been the victim of 

She then went on to say that in order to make 
known her innocence to the Vicar of Christ on earth, 
as it was known to God in heaven, and to force the 
whole world to acknowledge it also, she intended to 
go to Avignon and plead her cause before the Holy 
Father, whose absolution she would beg. 

She continued : " Only against me is the anger of 
the King of Hungary directed, me whom he holds as 
the murderess of his brother Andrew. You I know 
will take my part ; you will not refuse to defend me 
and my rights — if not for my own merits, at least 
for the love you bore my grandfather, the late King 
Robert. I know this ; but innocent blood shall not 
flow in a fruitless struggle. I yield my rights for 
the public good. I absolve you all, both nobles 
and people, from your oath of allegiance to me. I 

i22 The Beautiful Queen 

command you to make no resistance to the King of 
Hungary. Submit yourselves to him and disarm 
his anger by obedience. Deliver to him the keys of 
all the towns and castles in my kingdom, without 
waiting for the summons of herald or trumpet. 

"I leave you behind me my most precious pledge, 
my little son Charobert. May his innocent smile be 
your advocate, and soften the angry monarch. To 
me, the persecuted Queen, shall distant France give 
a place of refuge until the solemn judgment of 
God's viceregent on earth shall absolve me from this 
shameful reproach, and then full of honour I will 
return to my country as Queen, which I now leave 
with a broken heart, but a pure conscience." 

This touching speech, delivered with all the grace 
not only of the most ilovely woman of her day, but 
also of one of the most accomplished orators, moved 
the assembly to tears. But the majestic young Queen 
had sufficient self-control to command her own 
emotion, and sat there sad but dignified while both 
burghers and warriors were weeping at her feet ; 
and the solemn silence with which they had at first 
listened was now broken by cheers and exclamations, 
imploring her to remain and dare every risk, the 
nobles vowing to lay down their lives for her and 
her children. 

The age in which Joanna lived was the age of 
chivalry, so it is not surprising that this speech of 
one of the most fascinating woman that the world 

Joanna Marries a Second Time 123 

has seen should have won the hearts of her hearers, 
for devotion to beauty at this time of day wasjcarried 
to a degree of enthusiasm bordering on madness. 

It was not only the younger barons and knights 
and citizens who were moved by Joanna's beauty 
and eloquence ; the old sage councillors were also 
touched. They not only applauded her resolution 
and approved of her plans, but they too vowed not 
to rest until she was able to return, and they placed 
their lives and fortunes at her service. 

The journey from Naples to Avignon, in days 
before the use of steam had been discovered, was 
slow and by no means sure, for as the greater part of 
the way was a sea-voyage the travellers were at the 
mercy of wind and waves. 

On January 15th, 1347 (old style), the Queen em- 
barked for Provence, taking with her her household, 
a few most faithful friends, among them Nicholas 
Acciajuoli, and the Princess of Taranto, her sister- 
in-law, wife of Robert, Prince of Taranto, Louis's 
elder brother, and her celebrated diamonds and other 

Three galleys were the means of transport. A 
galley was usually a three-masted vessel with one 
deck, supplied with oars, the number of which varied ; 
a Venetian galley had sixty-four, and probably 
Joanna's had not less. They were rowed generally 
by criminals : hence the expression, " sent to the 
galleys." When Joanna reached the sea it is said 

124 The Beautiful Queen 

that every man and woman in the city was at 
the harbour, to catch a glimpse of the young 
Queen. As many as could get near enough to do 
so kissed her hand before she embarked, and both 
men and women wept bitterly as she left the shore, 
and stood on the beach watching as long as there 
was a sign of the disappearing galleys. 

The voyage, owing to the ignorance of nautical 
science of the times, was a dangerous one, and as 
it was performed in mid-winter the Mediterranean 
was quite capable of giving them a very rough time ; 
and as soon as the vessels were out of sight the 
crowd besieged the churches, and, kneeling round the 
altars, invoked every saint — especially Our Lady and 
St. Januarius, the patron saint of Naples — to protect 
their beloved sovereign and grant her a safe voyage 
and a speedy return to her country. 

As Joanna sailed past the isolated rock in the 
bay, crowned with the gloomy Castel del Ovo, her 
mother's heart must have been pierced with grief 
and fear, for there she had left her little son 
Charobert — now at the interesting age of two, just 
beginning to prattle — with his guardians chosen by 
the Pope, who had selected this casdc as the safest 
place for the heir to the crown. The poor young 
mother was destined never to see her child again ; 
but she could not know this when she left him, 
although she must under the circumstances have felt 
very anxious. 

Joanna Marries a Second Time 125 

Her husband, Louis of Taranto, was with her 
for three days, and on the 18th he landed on the 
Italian shore, which was neutral ground. 

The Princess of Taranto, whom her husband had 
sent to her father, the Duke of Bourbon, as Naples 
was in such a disturbed state, also landed here with 
Nicholas Acciajuoli, who, bent himself on an 
important mission to Florence, was to escort the 
Princess thither ; and now Joanna was left almost 
alone to proceed to Nice, where she landed two days 
later, intending to travel the rest of the way to 
Avignon by land. But on reaching Achisi she met 
Raymond de Baux, Prince of Orange, who was her 
second cousin, the Count de Soult, and some other 
Provencal barons, who were evidently on the look- 
out for her, having heard from the Hungarians that 
she was coming to Avignon. To her amazement, 
they seized her suite and sent them all back as 
prisoners to Nice, and led Joanna herself, with great 
respect and courtesy, but as a State prisoner, to Aix, 
the capital of Provence, where they lodged her in 
the now deserted palace of her ancestors, the ancient 
counts of Aix. 

Orange, we must explain, was a tiny principality, 
the chief town of which was about thirteen miles 
north of Avignon, and called Orange ; it was at this 
time an independent State, and remained so until 
the sixteenth century. The Barons de Baux had 
been the reigning princes of Orange since the 

I2 6 The Beautiful Queen 

eleventh century ; they were constantly lighting for 
the titles of Count of Provence and King of Aries. 

The reason for this extraordinary reception of 
Joanna from these Provencal barons, who were so 
loyal to the Angevine family, and supposed to idolise 
their beautiful Countess, the Queen of the Two 
Sicilies, was the reports spread by her enemy, the 
King of Hungary, to the effect that she intended 
to dispose of her Provencal dominions in order to 
obtain the means to carry on the war against 
Louis of Hungary. 

For this purpose, the emissaries of Louis had 
declared, she was travelling to Avignon in order to 
meet there her cousin John, Duke of Normandy, 
who in 1358 succeeded his father, Philip de Valois, 
as John I. of France, and sell her Provencal posses- 
sions to him. The Provencals, who were a proud 
race and, as we have said, devoted to the Angevine 
line, were determined to stop this sale at all costs, 
and so seized Joanna and confined her as a state 
prisoner at Aix, whither they conducted her with 
all courtesy and respect. 

She was treated as a Queen in this gloomy, 
fortress-like castle, but she was not allowed to see 
any one unless her attendants were present. This 
was in order to prevent her from making any 
attempt to negotiate the sale of Provence. In this 
desolate building, formerly the scene of revelry and 
magnificence, whose now silent walls once rang with 

Joanna Marries a Second Time 127 

the songs of the Troubadours, we must now leave 
the unfortunate Queen while we relate what happened 
in her absence from Naples. 

Little did Joanna think when she set out for 
Provence, where she as Countess was so revered and 
loved, that this would be the reception she would 
meet with on stepping on to Provencal soil. 

The King of Hungary's Vengeance 

TDEFORE leaving her kingdom Joanna had cora- 
*-* manded that the same governors should 
continue to hold their offices in all the towns and 
fortresses during her absence, so that on her return 
she might find her country in no worse state than 
when she left it. She had confidence in those to 
whom she had entrusted the government to safe- 
guard her interests, and she trusted that by ordering 
the gates of every town to be thrown open to the 
King of Hungary, and no resistance offered to his 
army, his anger would be pacified, and that he would 
not carry his threats of vengeance any further into 

Aversa was the place to which the special vengeance 
of Louis was directed, and thither his troops were 
advancing with threatening steps. Fear went before ; 
all trembled at the report of his approach. One 

town, Sulmone, in the north of the kingdom, refused 


The King of Hungary's Vengeance 129 

to obey Joanna's command to surrender, and opposed 
him, but he took it and sacked it, and continued his 

The Neapolitan princes of the blood, hearing of 
the resistance of Sulmone, sent an embassy to Louis 
begging him to grant them a safe-conduct, and a 
written declaration that he considered them innocent 
of the murder of Andrew. The Hungarian King 
granted both these requests, and the princes, trusting 
in his honour and chivalry, advanced in a body to 
meet him at Aversa, that scene of one tragedy 
destined to be the scene of another scarcely less 
terrible drama. 

Louis had assumed the title of King of Jerusalem 
and Sicily already, though both belonged to Joanna ; 
but the princes, to appease his wrath, recognised 
these titles by performing their homage according 
to the etiquette of the times, by kissing him on the 
mouth, and then they all sat down to a meal. By 
virtue of these two acts, either of which was con- 
sidered sufficient to ensure their safety, they had 
declared themselves his vassals, and he had virtually 
pledged himself to protect them ; and by all the 
laws of chivalry, then held in the most sacred 
esteem, their lives and persons were inviolable. 

The King of Hungary received them apparently 
as friends, but after the banquet he and the other 
Hungarians all armed themselves, while the Nea- 
politans were defenceless. In the courtyard of the 


i3° The Beautiful Queen 

castle where they were all assembled, both Neapolitans 
and Hungarians mounted their horses, and Louis 
announced his intention of proceeding with them 
to Naples ; but as they started, with the Duke of 
Durazzo riding by the side of the Hungarian 
monarch, the latter turned to Charles and said in 
an ominous tone, which struck terror into Durazzo's 
heart : 

" Lead us to where my brother Andrew was 

Durazzo, noting the ferocity which shone in the 
King's eyes, answered : 

" Don't trouble yourself about that. I was not 

The accounts of what followed vary. One says 
that Louis, on reaching Aversa, at once took 
prisoners the Duke of Durazzo and all the princes 
who had remained in Naples, including the little 
Charobert, whom this writer says the Neapolitans 
had brought with them in his cradle — which, seeing 
he was two years old, seems improbable. Carraccioli, 
the author in question, says that Louis then ordered 
the Duke of Durazzo to be beheaded on the same 
spot on which Andrew was murdered, and then kept 
the others whom he had arrested chained in irons 
most strictly until he could send them to Hungary. 

We prefer to follow Villani's version, which tells 
us that Louis, persisting in his demand to be shown 
the spot where Andrew was murdered, was led to 

The King of Hungary's Vengeance 131 

the Celestine monastery, where they all dismounted 
and proceeded to the castle, going up to the gallery 
in which Andrew was first seized, and then on to the 
balcony from which he was hanged and thrown over 
into the garden. 

When they reached this spot the fury of the King 
knew no bounds. He turned to Durazzo in a 
transport of rage, and said : 

" You have been a false traitor, and compassed 
the death of your lord my brother, and intrigued in 
the Papal court together with your uncle, the 
Cardinal of Perigord, who, at your request, delayed 
and endeavoured to prevent his coronation, which 
should, as was becoming, have been performed by 
the sanction of the Pope, and this delay was the 
cause of his death. 

" With fraud and deceit you obtained a dis- 
pensation from the Pope to take your cousin, his 
sister-in law, to wife, in order that, by the death of 
him and the Queen Joanna, his wife, you might 
become King in their stead. 

" Moreover, you have been in arms with that 
traitor Louis, Prince of Taranto, our rebel, who has 
done as you have done, and with fraud and sacrilege 
has married that iniquitous and adulterous woman, 
traitorous to her King and husband, who was 
Andrew, our brother, and therefore it is fitting 
that you should die where you caused him to die." 

Durazzo vehemently protested his innocence, and 

*3 2 The Beautiful Queen 

implored the King's mercy, but in vain. Louis now 
produced the letters to Charles Artus, written in 
Durazzo's name and sealed with his seal, concocting 
the assassination of Andrew, and then demanded 
how he could excuse himself. 

Without giving the unhappy Durazzo time to 
examine the documents in question, which are con- 
sidered to be of very doubtful authenticity — for 
Charles Artus was not yet taken, so it is not easy 
to see how they could have come into Louis's 
possession, and Durazzo's seal was easily imitated, 
as it was well known all over Europe — the angry 
King called forward one of his suite, who stabbed 
the unarmed Duke in the breast, while another 
Hungarian seized him by the hair. A second stab 
in the throat, which partially severed his head from 
his body, killed him. 

Nothing can justify the conduct and treachery of 
Louis in this murder. It was a gross breach of 
faith and trust, it was a dastardly action, cowardly 
in the extreme ; and whether Durazzo was guilty 
of Andrew's death or not it was unjust, because 
he was murdered without any trial or examination, 
or witness against him except these very doubtful 

Under pretence of zeal to punish his brother's 
murderers, Louis was bent on obtaining the crown 
of the Two Sicilies for himself ; and as Durazzo was 
certainly aiming at the same object, he was a special 

The King of Hungary's Vengeance 133 

object of hatred to Louis, who had not forgiven him 
for stealing his bride, Maria of Sicily, from him. 
But, fortunately for Joanna, his zeal outran his 
discretion, for this foul murder, coupled with his 
treachery, revolted the feelings of all classes, rich and 
poor, against him, and a reaction set in in favour 
of the Queen. 

Not content with murdering Durazzo, he threw 
the body over the fatal balcony and forbade any one 
to bury it till he gave permission, thus denying his 
victim, whom he had already deprived of the last 
Sacraments, Christian burial. 

He seized all the other princes who had been his 
guests an hour before, and threw them into the 
Castle of Aversa as prisoners for the present, until 
he could make other arrangements for taking them 
to Hungary. He then set out for Naples, but he 
was met at Melita, which is half-way between the 
city and Aversa, by a deputation of the citizens, who 
saluted him with the greatest reverence — of which 
he scorned to take the least notice, but rode into 
Naples as a conqueror, his terrible banner carried 
before him, his helmet on his head, refusing to pass 
under the canopy which the chief nobility brought 
out to hold over him. 

He also declined to meet the governors of the 
city and the representatives of the nobility, but 
demanded the keys of the city to be given up to 
him, and sent them to Hungary in token of con- 

i34 The Beautiful Queen 

quest. He then let loose his soldiers with orders 
to destroy all the palaces of the royal family, and 
the terrified Neapolitans feared he was going to 
pillage the whole city ; but this he forbade his soldiers 
to do, his chief wrath being directed against all the 
royal princes. 

Louis then held another inquiry — or rather in- 
quisition, for torture was the means employed to 
get evidence — into Andrew's death, and many nobles 
were executed as the result of these mock trials ; 
the real object of which was to obtain incriminating 
evidence against Joanna, and to remove all the 
barons who were opposed to the Hungarian cause. 
The first object was completely defeated, for neither 
death nor torture could extort a word of evidence 
against the Queen ; another proof of her innocence. 

Louis now took possession of little Canrobert, 
Joanna's child, whom he loaded with caresses and 
then sent him to Hungary with the other princes. 
The child did not live very long after reaching 
Hungary, and it was far better for Joanna that he 
died there ; for had his death taken place in Naples, 
her slanderers would have said that he had been 
murdered to make room for the children of her 
second marriage. The other royal princes were 
sent, chained, to the Castle of Wisgrade, which is 
described as a roomy prison, but " where there 
was little to have and less to spend." 

In the meanwhile Maria of Sicily, the young 

The King of Hungary's Vengeance 135 

Duchess of Durazzo, was waiting in the Castel 
Nuovo to meet the Hungarian King, whom she 
expected to return with her husband, who had gone 
to meet him. Her two children were with her 
when a messenger arrived to inform her of the 
King of Hungary's treachery, and the horrible 
murder of the husband of her youth, whom she 
loved passionately, and who had saved her from 
marrying Louis of Hungary, whom she hated. On 
hearing the ghastly news, and knowing Louis was 
now on his way from Aversa — that place so fatal to 
her and her sister Joanna — to her place of retreat, 
where she dreaded he would tear her children from 
her arms and send them prisoners to Hungary, 
while what form his vengeance might take against 
her who had jilted him she did not know, she 
immediately left the Castel Nuovo and took refuge 
for the rest of the day in some neighbouring 

Here she assumed the disguise of a beggar, 
laying aside all signs of her riches and high rank, 
and as soon as it was dark she issued forth with 
her two babies, and fled for protection to the 
neighbouring monastery of Santa Croce. We can 
well imagine the sensation her arrival must have 
caused among the monks, when the young Duchess 
of Durazzo, who was second in rank only to the 
Queen, knocked at their postern-gate disguised as 
a poor beggar, carrying two babies in her arms, the 

136 The Beautiful Queen 

elder of whom could not speak, while it was plainly 
visible that a third child would soon be added to 
her family. The monks could not have denied 
shelter even to the beggar she was counterfeiting nor 
did they hesitate to take in the Duchess ; though 
her presence was a source of the greatest danger to 
them, for if Louis had discovered it he would 
undoubtedly have sacked the monastery. 

The monks kept her for a few days while Louis 
was making a strict search for her, and had she 
fallen into his hands would no doubt have im- 
prisoned her, though for the sake of the unborn 
child he might have spared her life, at any rate 
until that was born. During these few days a plan 
was made for her escape by a few friends and the 
monks, who decided that an attempt must be made 
to send her to her sister in Provence. Apparently 
the news of the Queen's imprisonment had not 
reached the monastery or Naples. Maria was to 
learn on her arrival in Avignon, if she ever got 
there, of Joanna's captivity. 

The disguise of a beggar was not considered 
sufficient for one so well known as the Duchess 
of Durazzo, so she put on the habit of one of the 
monks, and with a few faithful friends managed, 
after undergoing many hardships and dangers by 
sea and by land, to reach Aix, where we left Joanna 

The reason of Joanna's captivity at Aix was 

The King of Hungary's Vengeance 137 

partly due to the affection of her Provencal subjects, 
partly to the false reports which the Hungarians 
had circulated about her among the nobility of 
Provence, to the effect that she was going to 
Avignon to endeavour to sell her Provencal 
dominions in order to get money to continue the 
war against the King of Hungary. To prevent 
this sale, which neither their pride nor their affection 
for the ancient Angevine rulers could brook, they 
subjected Joanna to a captivity which they had the 
grace to make as pleasant as possible under the 
circumstances, and in which she was treated with 
all the respect due to her as Queen and Countess 
of Provence, and we are told also with the utmost 

Maria, the widowed Duchess of Durazzo, was 
only eighteen when with her two little baby girls, 
Joanna and Agnes, she reached her sister, the 
captive Queen, who was separated from her own 
little son. The meeting between the two sisters 
was no doubt very touching, when after so many 
perils Maria at last found herself in a place of safety, 
although that place was a prison. 

Both these young widows had lost their husbands 
by a violent death, and, strange to say, Andrew 
and Charles of Durazzo had been murdered on 
the same spot, and the same cruel enemy was 
pursuing them. Joanna, generously forgetting that 
Charles of Durazzo had been a traitor to her, took 

138 The Beautiful Queen 

upon herself the care and education of his children, 
and when the third child was born adopted her as 
her daughter. No doubt the two little babies of 
Maria were a source of amusement and consolation 
to both sisters in their captivity, and to some extent 
atoned to Joanna for the loss of her boy, of whose 
fate she was so uncertain. 

We must now see what had become of Joanna's 
husband and Nicholas Acciajuoli, who, when they 
left Joanna, had intended to proceed by different 
ways to Florence, where Angelo Acciajuoli, the 
brother of Nicholas, was bishop, in order to enlist 
his services on Joanna's behalf, for he was a man 
of great influence in the Papal Court. 

The fate of Louis and Joanna was, it may be said, 
in the Pope's hands. If he judged them guilty of 
the murder of Andrew, he had the power to send 
them not only to prison, but to the scaffold ; while, 
on the other hand, if he pronounced them innocent, 
and took them under his fatherly protection, Joanna 
might recover her fair fame and her kingdom. 

It was therefore of vital importance to both 
Joanna and Louis to leave no stone unturned to 
procure a favourable verdict at the Court of Avignon, 
and they were most fortunate in being able to 
approach such a powerful advocate as the Bishop 
of Florence with such an influential friend as his 
brother Nicholas to plead for them. 

Angelo Acciajuoli once proposed to pay Petrarch 

The King of Hungary's Vengeance 139 

a visit in his hermitage at Vaucluse, to see him and 
the celebrated fountain, said never to have been 
fathomed, which is the source of the River Sorgia, 
and rises in the midst of a gloomy cavern at the 
foot of a huge rock. Petrarch, highly delighted at 
the prospect of receiving so honourable a guest, 
scoured the neighbourhood to obtain delicacies to 
set before him when he should arrive. 

The Bishop, who was on his way from Avignon 
to Florence, was expected to the midday dejeuner 
at twelve o'clock. Everything was ready at the 
appointed time ; twelve o'clock struck, but no 
Bishop appeared, and the poet, who wanted his 
luncheon, grew impatient, and while waiting wrote 
some lines to the Prior of the neighbouring 
monastery to the following effect : 

" There is no more faith in the world. We can 
depend on no one ; the more I see the more I feel 
this. Even your Bishop, upon whom I thought I 
could rely, he deceives me. He promised to dine 
with me to-day. I have done for him what I never 
did for any one. I have upset my house to treat 
him well. He fears, no doubt, that he will meet 
with the repast of a poet, and deigns not to visit 
the place where the great King Robert, where 
cardinals and princes have been : some to see the 
fountain, others to visit me. But if I am unworthy 
to receive such a guest, it seems to me that he is 
still more unworthy for breaking his word." 

i4° The Beautiful Queen 

By the time these lines were written a great 
commotion was heard outside the hermitage, and 
the good Bishop arrived, having been delayed on 
the way. 

But to return to Louis of Taranto and his tutor. 
When they reached the Florentine frontier they 
were met by an embassy from the chief magistrates, 
forbidding them to enter Florence, lest by so doing 
the inhabitants should suffer from the vengeance of 
Louis of Hungary. The Guelph party in Florence 
took no part in this protest, and were highly 
indignant at it, for they owed much both to the 
relations of Joanna and to the uncle and brother 
of Louis, who had laid down their lives for them 
in battle. 

But though the Florentines had received so many 
favours from Joanna's father and King Robert, as 
well as from Louis's relations, the chief citizens 
decided it would not do to run the risk of incurring 
the anger of the Hungarian King, so Louis was 
obliged to take refuge for ten days in the Castle 
of Valdepeso, which belonged to a chief of the 
Acciajuoli family. 

This was all the more galling to the Guelphs 
because a month before, when Philip Gonzago of 
Mantua, who had been fighting on the side of the 
Hungarians, passed through Florence on his way 
from Naples he was received with the honours they 
wished to show to Prince Louis of Taranto. 

The King of Hungary's Vengeance 141 

Nicholas Acciajuoli was, however, too faithful and 
too clever a friend to his pupil, Louis, and to his 
sovereign, Joanna, not to find a way to help her ; 
so he chartered two armed galleys from Genoa, and 
on board them he and Louis sailed for Provence. 
But on nearing the shore they found they could not 
land with safety either at Marseilles or Nice, and 
they heard the bad news that Joanna was in 
captivity, the Barons in open rebellion, and Louis's 
Hungarian agents very busy doing all the mis- 
chief they could. Neither Louis of Taranto nor 
Acciajuoli were men to be easily baffled ; they were 
determined to reach Avignon by hook or by crook, 
so they sailed past the Provencal shore to Aigues 
Morte, which is on French soil, and landed there, 
and, following the course of the Rh6ne, arrived at 
Villeneuve, on the opposite bank of the river to 
Avignon. Arrived here, all they had to do was 
to cross the celebrated Bridge of St. Benezet at 
Avignon. Louis, however, thought it more prudent 
to remain at Villeneuve until he knew what kind of 
a reception he would meet with at the Papal court, 
while Acciajuoli and his brother, the Bishop of 
Florence, ^who had joined them at Valdepeso, went 
to see Clement VI. and consult with him as to 
what was to be done to reinstate Joanna on her 


Joanna Pleads before the Pope and Cardinals 

THE city of Avignon has many claims to 
celebrity. The fact that it was the chosen 
place of residence of the seven French Popes, from 
1309 to 1378, would in itself be sufficient to invest 
it with an interest second only to Rome itself, but 
it has other claims to fame. It was, as we have 
already said, the home of Petrarch's Laura, and in 
one of its churches he first met her. Its streets and 
gardens were traversed by the poet and his beloved 
lady, and in another of its churches is her tomb. 
During the residence of the Popes it was visited by 
most of the various European sovereigns, by their 
ambassadors, and, especially during the reign of 
Clement VI., it was resorted to by the most learned 
men in Europe. 

In the seventeenth century the celebrated Crillon 
died there and was buried there. He was one of 

the most renowned soldiers of the sixteenth cen- 


Joanna Pleads before the Pope 143 

tury, and distinguished himself during the reigns 
of five French kings, and was the first officer to 
receive the title of Colonel-General of the French 
infantry. Henry IV. of France always spoke of 
him as " le brave Crillon," and after the battle of 
Arques wrote on the battlefield this pregnant dis- 
patch to him : 

" Hang thyself, brave Crillon. We have fought 
at Arques and thou wast not there." 

Another very celebrated man was a native of 
Avignon, the Chevalier Folard, who was born there 
in 1669, and died there in 1752. He was one of 
the greatest tacticians the world has seen. He took 
part in all the wars at the end of the reign of Louis 
XIV., and supplied the generals under whom he 
served with plans of defence ; he wrote several 
works on war-tactics and defence, all of course now 
hopelessly obsolete, but most valuable at the time 
they were published. 

At the close of his life he joined a Jansenist 
sect of fanatics known in France as the " Convul- 
sionnaires," whose vagaries gave rise to a celebrated 
witty couplet. They used to visit the tomb of the 
deacon Francois de Paris, one of their members, 
who had died in the odour of sanctity, and there 
they fell into all sorts of convulsions, and pretended 
that miracles took place in this churchyard of St. 
Medard. At last they became such a nuisance that 
the authorities were obliged to order the cemetery 

1 44 The Beautiful Queen 

to be closed. Whereupon some wag wrote upon 
the gate : 

"De par le Roi defense a Dieu, 
De faire miracle en ce lieu." 

Another of these sects which sprang up some 
years later, about 1373, was the Dancers ; they were 
the offspring of the Flagellants, and originated in 
Aix-la-Chapelle. They spread throughout Liege, 
Hainault, and Flanders. These fanatics fell sud- 
denly into fits of dancing. Men and women joined 
hands, and danced violently till they were almost 
suffocated, when they fell to the ground and then 
said they were favoured with visions. The priests 
declared they were possessed, and exorcised them. 1 

In the year 1226 the town of Avignon was 
nearly destroyed by order of the Papal legate, sent 
there to oppose the Count of Toulouse, who had 
favoured the cause of the Albigeois, and at the time 
of Joanna's visit it had not recovered from the 
punishment inflicted upon it, so that like Rome it 
presented a striking mixture of great luxury side 
by side with the direst poverty. Among the low, 
ill-built houses of the natives stood the magnificent 
palaces of the Cardinals, and perched upon a grand 
rock above the glorious river Rh6ne was the 
fortress-like but most splendid of all these mansions, 
the majestic palace of the Popes, which still survives, 
though now used as a prison. 

1 Mosheim, vol. i. 

Joanna Pleads before the Pope 145 

Petrarch, who was most indignant at the luxury 
of the Papal Court, thus comments upon these 
buildings. " What a shame to see these people 
raising magnificent palaces, resplendent with gold 
and superb towers which threaten the skies in this 
new Babylon, whilst the capital of the world lies 
in ruins ! " 

The poet as an Italian could not tolerate with 
patience the removal of the Holy See from Rome 
to Avignon, and with his usual exaggerated but 
picturesque language he inveighs against it. 

In one of his letters called the " Mysteries " he 
thus describes the licentiousness of Avignon : " All 
that they say of Assyrian and Egyptian Babylon, 
of the four Labyrinths, of the Avernean and Tar- 
tarean Lakes is nothing in comparison with this 
hell. We have here a Nimrod powerful on the 
earth, and a mighty hunter before the Lord, who 
attempts to scale heaven with raising his superb 
towers. A Semiramis with her quiver, a Cambyses 
more extravagant than the Cambyses of old. All 
that is vile and execrable is assembled in this 
place. There is no clue to lead you out of this 
labyrinth, neither that of Dedalus nor Ariadne ; 
the only means of escaping is by the influence 
of gold. 

" In this place reign the successors of poor fisher- 
men, who have forgotten their origin. They march 
covered with gold and purple, proud of the spoils 


J46 The Beautiful Queen 

of princes and of the people. Instead of those 
little boats in which they gained their living on the 
Lake of Gennesareth, they inhabit superb palaces. 
To the most simple repasts have succeeded the 
most sumptuous feasts ; and where the apostles went 
on foot covered only with sandals are now seen 
insolent satraps mounted on horses ornamented 
with gold, and champing golden bits. Poor old 
fishermen ! For whom have you laboured ? O 
times ! O manners ! " 

It was under the pontificate of Clement VI., to 
whom he alluded as " Nimrod," that Petrarch wrote 
this, and that the luxury and licentiousness of 
Avignon reached their highest point ; for Clement 
VI. was a man of most gentle temper, very 
easily led, most generous, and very fond, it must 
be confessed, of luxury. He liked the society of 
ladies, and they were admitted to his palace and 
formed a court there, at the head of which was 
Cicely, Duchess of Turenne — Petrarch's " Semiramis 
with her quiver." She married the son of Alphonsus 
IV., King of Aragon, and became Duchess of 
Turenne in her own right by the death of her 
brother, the Viscount, in 1340. 

This woman was excessively proud and imperious, 
and very cunning also, and managed to obtain a 
very strong influence over the Pope, and amassed 
great riches from all hands. She was the special 
object of Petrarch's hatred. She lived in the 

Joanna Pleads before the Pope 147 

greatest splendour, and completely dominated 
the Court of Avignon, and disposed of a 
great deal of the patronage attached to the Papal 
Court by virtue of her friendship with Clement, 
who allowed himself to be influenced by her; 
but there is not the slightest ground for the 
suggestions of some unscrupulous writers, who 
have calumniated the Holy Father by suggesting 
there was more than friendship existing between 

The scenery round Avignon is most varied ; the 
deep blue waters of the Rh6ne rush past the lordly 
palaces, and receive the Durance, which winds 
about on the other side of the city. Just below 
it wide avenues of elms surround the town. The 
land is very rich : vines crown the hills, olive-trees 
cover the meadows, while islands in the great river, 
magnificent trees, and rich fields all combine to 
make a fairylike prospect. 

The walls round the city were built in 1358, 
but they are more ornamental than suitable for pur- 
poses of defence, and are flanked with square towers. 
The mystic number seven regulated everything in 
Avignon : there were seven gates in these walls, 
seven churches, seven monasteries, seven nunneries, 
seven colleges, seven parishes, seven hospitals, 
and seven Popes lived there in succession — though 
this last was by accident or coincidence, not by 
design. We must not forget to mention the cele- 

H8 The Beautiful Queen 

brated Bridge of St Ben6zet * which spans the 
Rhone at Avignon, on the opposite side of which 
stands the town of Villeneuve, where on their 
arrival Louis of Taranto remained, while Nicholas 
Acciajuoli and his brother, the Bishop of Florence, 
went to Avignon to obtain an audience of the 
Pope. Clement is said to have received them with 
his usual courtesy and affability, and no doubt 
entertained them at one of his regal banquets, for 
he was famed for the delicacy of his table as well 
as for the sumptuousness of his furniture and table 

His first step upon hearing their errand, and 
learning of the imprisonment of Joanna, was to 
send for the Duke of Normandy and prevail upon 
him to leave Provence, and return immediately to 
his own dominions, to show the Provencals that 
Joanna was not about to sell Provence to him ; this 
quieted their fears, and paved the way for Joanna's 

There was living at Avignon at this time a 
relation of Joanna's, namely, the Due de Berri, 
who on hearing of her captivity also exerted him- 
self to obtain her release, working most zealously 
on her behalf. He went round to all the principal 

1 St. Benezet was originally a shepherd living in the second half 
of the twelfth century. He built this bridge, and was the founder 
of an order called " les Freres Pontifes," or the Makers of Bridges ; 
he was also the patron saint of engineers, and of the city of Avignon. 
He died in 1184. 

Joanna Pleads before the Pope 149 

nobles in turn, and assured them on his word as a 
prince that there was no truth in the report spread 
by the Hungarians, that Joanna was about to sell 
her Provencal dominions. 

These measures prevailed. The Barons, at last 
convinced that they had been deceived by the 
malice of the Hungarian emissaries of Louis of 
Hungary, went to Aix and assured the captive 
Queen of their fidelity, removed all the restrictions 
under which she had been placed, and renewed 
their oaths of allegiance to her. Joanna then 
selected a new court from the nobles of Provence, 
and prepared to leave Aix for Avignon to plead 
there her cause before the Pope. She knew no 
rest until this object had been fulfilled and her 
character cleared in the eyes of all Christendom 
from the odious charges brought against her. 

Her captivity had lasted nearly two months : she 
was taken prisoner on January 20th, and on the 1 5th 
of the following March she made her triumphant 
and most magnificent entry into Avignon, the streets 
of which were hung with silk and cloth-of-gold 
and of silver, and decorated with garlands of flowers 
for the occasion. The balconies of the splendid 
palaces and houses of the rich were filled with 
ladies dressed in ceremonial robes of such costli- 
ness that they were handed down from generation 
to generation. 

Here we may mention a sumptuary law in exist- 

150 The Beautiful Queen 

ence in Provence and France at this time, by which 
it was prohibited to all women below a certain fixed 
rank to wear silk, gold, furs, pearls, or other precious 
jewels, and in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries 
not even the relations of Popes, or the wives and 
daughters of marshals and barons were exempt from 
it. These laws were made to repress the luxury and 
extravagance of the age, especially among the lower 
classes primarily : but they afterwards, in England 
and Scotland, became protective in character. 
Edward III. in 1336 passed a most arbitrary 
sumptuary law in England, limiting the number of 
courses his subjects might take at one meal ; but 
this law was never enforced from the very be- 
ginning, and yet it remained on the Statute Book 
until 1856. 

Laura's nobility is said to be proved, if proof 
were needed, by the fact that she possessed some 
silk gloves embroidered in gold — one of which she 
once dropped and Petrarch picked it up, but was 
not permitted to retain it even for a minute. Unless 
Laura had been of the requisite high rank, she 
would not have been allowed to possess these gloves, 
nor to have worn the other magnificent clothing for 
which she was famed. 

Of course the Queen of the Two Sicilies and 
Countess of Provence was exempt from all sumptuary 
laws, and entered Avignon with all the pomp and 
insignia of royalty. It must be confessed that 

Joanna Pleads before the Pope 151 

Joanna was very fond of purple and fine clothing ; 
and if it be considered a fault in a woman of 
her exalted rank to be clad in magnificent robes 
on grand State occasions, then Joanna was guilty 
of that fault, of which much has been made by her 
adverse critics. 

She entered Avignon, seated on a milk-white 
palfrey caparisoned with purple and gold, wearing 
a robe of crimson velvet, and over it a mantle 
of purple velvet, embroidered all over with the 
fleur-de-lis in gold thread, and bordered with the 
regal ermine ; on her shoulders glittered the crosses 
of the kingdom of Jerusalem — one of her titles being, 
it will be remembered, Empress of Jerusalem — and 
in her hands she bore her orb and sceptre. Over 
her head was carried the canopy of State, orna- 
mented with gold fringes, and its four gilt poles 
borne in turns by the highest noblemen in her 
kingdom. These canopy-bearers wore coronets upon 
their heads and splendid attire. 

The Queen, who was the admiration of all 
beholders, her beauty calling forth shouts of 
delight, was accompanied by her husband, Louis 
of Taranto, who must have felt intensely proud 
of his young wife and sovereign, and also 
by Nicholas Acciajuoli and his brother the 
Bishop of Florence, and by a large escort of 
her Ultramontane knights, with their ladies all 
dressed in great splendour. Some of these ladies 

15 2 The Beautiful Queen 

were carried in litters ; others sat on side-saddles 
made in the shape of a chair, which could not 
have had a very equestrian appearance. Joanna 
was an excellent horsewoman, and may have dis- 
pensed with this arrangement ; her palfrey was led 
by two knights of princely birth. 

As the procession passed along the narrow crooked 
streets it was delayed by the most cosmopolitan of 
crowds which thronged the city, attracted thither 
from all parts of Christendom by the presence of 
the Pope, and it is not likely that in those days 
crowds were regulated as they are in twentieth- 
century London. 

The convent of the Ursulines had long been the 
usual place of residence of the sovereigns of Naples 
when they visited Avignon, and here they stopped 
for the Queen to alight to take the customary re- 
freshment of wine and confectionery, and also to 
give the Cardinals time to meet in the Consistory 
Court at the Papal palace, before which she was now 
about to appear and plead her cause. 

This court was held in one of the magnificently 
proportioned halls in the Pope's palace. It was 
arranged with a throne of crimson and gold for the 
Pope, raised above all the other seats, at one end, 
and round this, arranged in a semicircle, were seated 
the Cardinals, on a lower level ; they were all 
vested in their robes of scarlet silk, with their gold 
crosses upon their breasts and their jewelled 

Joanna Pleads before the Pope 153 

episcopal rings on their right| hands. The Pope 
is said by one author, from whom we are now 
quoting, to have worn the triple tiara. This is a 
mistake. The Papal tiara at this time was only a 
double crown ; the third crown was not added until 
the pontificate of Urban V. 

The same writer says Clement was attired in 
dazzling white robes of silver tissue. This may 
have been the case ; but white was not adopted 
by the Popes as the colour of their robes until 
the time of the Dominican Pope St. Pius V., who 
introduced it because it was then the custom for 
a Pope to wear robes of the same colour as his 
habit if he had been a member of a religious order 
before his election, and Pius V. was a Dominican, 
whose habit is white. Clement VI. was not a 
member of any religious order, so he was at liberty 
to wear what coloured robes he chose. He was 
of high rank, belonging to the ancient family of 
Roger, and loved refinement and splendour, and 
is described as having more of the chivalry of the 
knight than the austerity of the priest about him. 
He was very fond of hunting, and his stud was 
celebrated all over Europe, while his stables were 
most luxurious. 

Popes at that time wore white linen slippers, with 
a cross embroidered in gold upon them, which it 
has ever, until the present pontificate, been the 
custom of the faithful to kiss on being presented 

154 The Beautiful Queen 

to the Pope. In mediaeval days the cross was 
often used in dress to procure marks of homage, 
which would have been denied without it. 

A story is told of one of the Doges of Venice 
in this connection. In 1363 the father of the 
reigning Doge chose to go bareheaded rather than 
uncover his head to his son, whereupon the Doge 
had a cross placed in front of his hat, and his father 
then took to his headgear again, and when he met 
his son took it off saying, " It is not him I salute, 
but the cross." 

The same idea, only more forcibly expressed, is 
present in an anecdote relating to the late Tsar of 
Russia. It is the custom on Easter Day in Russia 
for all the congregation to kiss the hand of the 
priest on leaving the church after Mass. On one 
occasion the Tsar was staying at one of his country 
palaces at Easter, and went to Mass in a small 
village church. The priest, who was a peasant, was 
terrified when the Tsar was about to kiss his hand 
as he left the church, and drew back, saying he 
was unworthy of such an honour. The Tsar gave 
him a most scathing rebuke, saying, as he insisted 
upon obeying the ritual of his Church, " It is not 
you I kiss, but Jesus Christ." 

Joanna was led into this consistory between two 
cardinals, and followed by a crowd of friends and 
vassals, all anxious to hear the verdict of the Papal 
Court upon their Queen. 


P- 1541 

Joanna Pleads before the Pope 155 

As the Queen in her splendid robes entered 
the doors of the Consistory Hall she knelt for 
the first time, then in the middle of it she 
genuflected a second time on both knees, and 
finally, when she reached the foot of the throne 
covered with crimson and gold, upon which the 
Pope sat, she knelt the third time, and stooping 
her head kissed his foot and then his hand — a 
privilege granted to her on account of her high 
rank. The Pope raised her and kissed her on 
the lips, and after a few words had passed between 
them he placed her on a seat prepared for her 
on his right, rather lower than his own, with a 
crimson and gold cushion for her feet. 

The hall in which the Consistory was held was 
filled from end to end with prelates of high rank, 
princes, nobles, and ambassadors from every court 
in Europe. 

Conspicuous among them were two ambassadors 
from Louis of Hungary, who had only just arrived 
at Avignon from Naples to represent their King, to 
accuse Joanna of the murder of Andrew, to justify 
and defend the invasion by Louis of her kingdom, 
and to demand not only the throne but the life of 
Queen Joanna, the cynosure of all eyes as she sat 
there in all the pride of her youth and beauty. 

The Hungarians felt confident of winning their 
cause, for their King was on very good terms with 
Clement VI., and it was believed that the Pope would 

156 The Beautiful Queen 

favour Hungary, for there were reports that he had 
a personal dislike of the Queen concerning whom 
such sinister reports had reached him. The fact 
that Joanna was an exile, driven out of her country 
by the avenger of her murdered first husband, might 
also militate against her, though on the other hand 
it might evoke pity for her tragic fate. 

Immediately following upon Joanna was her 
second husband, Louis of Taranto, who likewise 
made his obeisance to the Pope, and was allowed 
the privilege of kissing Clement's hand and lips 
because of his rank as the consort of the Queen ; 
then Nicholas Acciajuoli and a few of the most 
distinguished barons in her suite were duly presented 
to the Holy Father, while she sat by his side medi- 
tating upon what she would say to defend herself. 
Not only her throne, but her life also depended 
upon the verdict of the Consistory. She well knew 
the power the Pope had over her crown and her 
person ; she knew it was popularly believed that 
he had been prejudiced against her, and was on 
very friendly terms with her arch-enemy, that he 
had been shocked and horrified at the murder of 
Andrew, and probably believed some of the tales 
that were afloat about her. 

She must have trembled as she waited till these 
presentations were over, when she rose and, leaving 
her seat, began to address the Pope and Cardinals 
sitting in judgment upon her. Fortunately for 

Joanna Pleads before the Pope 157 

Joanna, eloquence was one of her gifts ; still more 
fortunate perhaps, that greatest of all feminine gifts 
was hers in abundance — beauty ; most fortunate of 
all, her judges were men, to whom her youth, beauty, 
and terrible misfortunes would appeal strongly. We 
can well imagine that every eye was turned upon 
her, from the Pope's to the youngest knight's in 
the hall. 

We read that " her figure was tall and nobly 
formed, her air composed and majestic, her carriage 
altogether royal, her features of exquisite beauty, 
and, with a character of grandeur, had a certain air 
of natural goodness that softened their expression 
and won the love whilst she commanded the respect 
of those who beheld her." 

What would the verdict be ? 

Joanna's Acquittal and its Results 

LATIN is the language of the Consistory Court 
of Rome, and, as no mention is made of any 
interpreter, we may safely conclude that Joanna 
pleaded her cause in that tongue, which she wrote 
with ease ; for as her audience was so cosmopolitan 
and the effect of her eloquence was so immediate, 
she must have spoken a language understood by 
all or most of her hearers. Had she addressed 
them in either the Provencal or Italian language, 
both of which she spoke with great fluency, only 
part of her hearers would have understood. On 
one occasion when Sancho, Prince of Castile, who 
had to have an interpreter, was present at a Roman 
Consistory he heard loud applause, and asked his 
interpreter what was the meaning of it. 

" They have just proclaimed your Highness King 
of Egypt," said the interpreter. 

" Indeed ! Well, it does not become us to be 

i S 8 

Joanna's jAcquittal and its Results 159 

wanting in gratitude ; rise up and proclaim his 
Holiness Caliph of Bagdad," said the Prince. 

Joanna's defence of herself is said to have been 
the most masterly piece of feminine oratory ever 
heard. She first of all stated the points in her 
defence so logically, clearly, forcibly, and briefly, 
that long before she had finished speaking her 
judges were convinced of her innocence. She 
then went on to express the greatest horror of 
the foul murder of Andrew, and deplored his sad 
fate, cut off in the very flower of his youth, with 
deep pathos, and then spoke of her own great 
grief and horror at his untimely end, weeping so 
touchingly that her fierce accusers, the Hungarian 
ambassadors, were confounded, and attempted no 
reply when the Queen had finished speaking. But 
before she concluded she defended herself for the 
delay in bringing the guilty to judgment, of which 
she had been accused, and impressed upon her 
audience that no tortures had been able to force 
one of the conspirators to accuse her of having 
had any part in the plot against Andrew. 

The result of her eloquence was that the court 
declared her not only innocent, but above the sus- 
picion of guilt. The most ample acquittal which 
she and her subjects could demand to reinstate her 
in the good opinion of all men was unanimously 
pronounced, and a decree passed confirming this 
verdict. The Pope then publicly absolved her, 

160 The Beautiful Queen 

for hers was a case reserved to the Holy See ; and 
as Joanna was a devout Catholic, she had earnestly 
desired this grace to wash away all traces of any 
sin her soul might have incurred during the terrible 
trials she had been passing through, and she now 
left the Consistory Hall at peace with God and 
with man. 

When, with the tears of joy upon her face, 
she rose from her knees at the Pope's feet after 
receiving absolution, he conducted her through the 
Hall of Consistory and the ante-chamber, which 
was as far as etiquette permitted him to go, and 
then parted with her, and Louis of Taranto led 
his innocent wife and Queen to the apartments 
prepared for her in the Ursuline Convent. Clement 
VI. was prevented by another rule of etiquette from 
visiting her there more than once, but he duly 
paid this visit ; and so long as she remained in 
Avignon his palace was open to her and her 
husband, upon both of whom he bestowed every 
mark of honour. 

Among the favours Joanna received from the 
hands of the Sovereign Pontiff during her residence 
in Avignon was the Golden Rose, which Clement 
had intended giving to the King of Majorca, then 
in Avignon. This Rose is an ornament made of 
gold in the shape of a rose, which is blessed by 
the Pope on the fourth Sunday in Lent, and then 
bestowed by him upon some sovereign or monastery. 

Joanna's Acquittal and its Results 161 

It was not an annual custom until the reign of 
St. Urban V., who came to the throne in 1363, and it 
is now generally given to a sovereign. It was a rarer 
favour in Joanna's day, and very highly valued. It 
was bestowed upon her on March 27th, and that 
same day the Queen and Louis of Taranto were led 
in procession all round the walls of the city of 
Avignon, as Count and Countess of Provence, and 
afterwards received the homage of the Provencal 
barons assembled for that purpose. 

The allegiance of this proud race was not lightly 
given nor lightly valued ; but as they had always 
been faithful to the Angevine line, so were they 
always tenderly attached and absolutely loyal to 
Joanna, whom they loved to call "la bonne Reine 

Joanna would have had a far happier life if she 
could have remained in Provence where she was loved 
and revered by her subjects, instead of having to return 
to Naples where so many misfortunes awaited her, 
but during her visit to Avignon the city was visited 
by one of the most terrible calamities that ever 
befell suffering humanity. The festivities at the 
Papal Court were all suspended by the Great Plague, 
which, having already swept away millions in other 
parts of Europe, now broke out in Provence. 

It was during this visitation that Clement VI. 
showed his charity and wisdom in so marked a 
manner, thus rendering the fell disease less disastrous 

1 1 

1 62 The Beautiful Queen 

in its consequences at Avignon than it was in other 
places. To prevent the spread of the infection, he 
established a special body of police ; he bought a field 
outside the city as a burial-ground for the dead, and 
spent large sums of money on the transport thither 
of the infected corpses, besides paying doctors to 
attend the poor and providing winding-sheets for 
them. Avignon was at the time the plague broke 
out full of visitors, many having come from the 
country to pay homage to Joanna, which may 
perhaps account for the enormous numbers — which 
were estimated in Avignon at one hundred and 
twenty thousand — who are said to have perished of 
this terrible scourge. 

The disease was at its height during Lent, and 
during the three last days of Holy Week fourteen 
hundred people are said to have died of it in the 
city. The fact that it was worst during those days 
when the Lenten fast was most strict shows that 
to live well was one of the best means of warding 
off an attack ; but at that time the Lenten fast was 
very much stricter than it is now, and dispensations 
not so easily granted. The greatest number of 
victims were among the women and children of the 
poorest classes. 

The rich, however, were by no means exempt, 
and one of the Avignon victims was Laura, the 
beloved of Petrarch, who died on April 6th after 
three days' illness. She had a presentiment that she 

Joanna's Acquittal and its Results 163 

would not live beyond three days after the fever set 
in, so she made her will and sent for a priest and 
received the Last Sacraments, and died with great 
resignation, surrounded by friends and relations, 
whom not even the fear of the plague could keep 
away from one they so loved and admired. She died 
about six o'clock in the morning of April 6th, and 
was buried that same day after vespers, in the 
chapel attached to the monastery of the Franciscan 
Friars Minor. 

Petrarch, who was still madly in love with her, 
was at Verona at the time of her death, anxiously 
expecting news of her ; but the plague had stopped 
all communication with Avignon, as the couriers 
who carried the letters could not pass. He did not 
get the news of her death until May 9th, when he 
was at Parma, and his grief, as may be imagined, was 
intense. He passed several days without eating or 
drinking, rendering himself, we should think, ex- 
ceedingly liable to an attack of the dread disease. 

He said of himself that " he dared not think of 
his condition, much less could he speak of it, and 
that the loss convinced him that there was no longer 
anything worth living for; and since the strongest 
cord of his life was now broken, he should renounce 
the world, where his cares had been deceitful and 
his hopes vain and perishing." 

Before Petrarch had ceased to weep for Laura his 
friend Cardinal Colonna also died of the plague at 

164 The Beautiful Queen 

Avignon, where his loss was greatly felt ; for his 
court was a brilliant one, attended by literary men 
and men of genius from all parts of Europe. But 
the Italians who visited him could not bear Provence 
after their Maecenas, as they called him, was dead, and 
most of them left the city of Avignon and returned 
to Italy. 

Villani, the historian, was another victim to this 
terrible pestilence, which had been predicted by 
astrologers. But he left an account of the beginning 
of it, and among other things he tells us that the 
mortality was greater in Pistoja and Prato than in 
Florence, and greater in Bologna and Avignon and 
Provence and the whole kingdom of France, but 
greatest in those countries beyond the sea among 
the Tartars. 

The Mendicant Friars came out splendidly during 
this calamity. They attended the plague-stricken, and 
administered to their spiritual needs, when other 
priests neglected, and feared to go near them ; 
they preached, heard the confessions of the dying, 
and buried the dead. But the fact that many of the 
dead had left their estates to them out of gratitude 
roused the jealousy of the secular clergy, who 
petitioned Clement VI. to suppress them. This 
petition was presented to the Pope in the same 
Consistory Court before which Joanna had pleaded, 
and was supported by some cardinals and bishops. 
The Pope refused to grant their request, and rebuked 

Joanna's Acquittal and its Results 165 

them in the following strong terms for their envious 
conduct : 

" The Mendicants have exposed their lives by 
attending dying persons, and administering the 
sacraments to them, whilst you, consulting your own 
safety, fled from the danger and abandoned your 
flocks. You have therefore no reason to complain 
of what they have got, as they have got it by 
performing the duty which you have neglected, 
though incumbent upon you. They employ the 
little they have gained in building or repairing 
their churches, but you would perhaps have applied 
it to very different uses. They preach nothing but 
what they show by their example to be practicable, 
whereas many among you preach one thing and 
practise the contrary." 

The credulity of the age led to a persecution of 
the Jews, who were accused of having caused the 
plague by poisoning the fountains. But Clement VI. 
with his usual clemency defended them in two Bulls 
which he published, forbidding them to be forcibly 
baptised, under the severest penalties, as such was 
the alternative given to the Hebrews if they wished 
to escape death. 

Another outcome of the fear and panic which 
the plague roused was the revival of the fanatics 
known as the Flagellants, who first appeared in 
the eleventh century, and during the feuds of the 
Guelphs and Ghibellines they spread throughout 

1 66 The Beautiful Queen 

France, Bohemia, Austria, Italy, Russia, Poland, 
and Hungary, but they did not appear in England 
until this second outburst of their fanaticism in 1348. 

They were penitents who went in procession 
through the various towns and cities to which they 
penetrated, naked to the waist, and armed with 
scourges, with which they lashed themselves until 
the blood flowed, and marked their progress on 
the ground. Clement suppressed them in the 
following year, but they have frequently made their 
appearance since. 

It is computed that 100,000 victims perished of 
the plague in Venice, 60,000 in Florence, 1,200,000 
in Germany, and it is said that more than 200,000 
villages and small towns were left without any 
inhabitants. While of the good Friars who worked 
so nobly to help the sick and dying, no less than 
124,434 died of this terrible disease. 

The cardinals and rich barons at Avignon shut 
themselves up in their palaces, and burnt huge 
fires to keep away the infection ; and Clement VI., 
who refused to go away from Avignon while it was 
raging, also took this precaution of burning large 
fires and remaining indoors. 

The Great Pestilence, or the Black Death as it was 
also called, did not appear in England until August 
of this fatal year, 1348, and before it was extermin- 
ated it carried off" 5,000,000 victims during the year 
it lasted. 

Joanna's Acquittal and its Results 167 

Boccaccio, who had left Naples when the King of 
Hungary invaded it, went to Florence and there 
wrote his description of the ravages of this ghastly 
scourge, which first of all began in the Far East. 
He tells us that in his native city " no human 
wisdom, no precautions, availed to avert the calamity. 
In vain by the orders of the magistrates were the 
streets cleared of every impurity ; in vain were 
the gates of the city closed against all infected 
persons, and the counsels of the most prudent put 
in practice for the preservation of health. And 
equally unavailing were the humble supplications, 
not once but often made to God by devout persons, 
in solemn processions and other forms." 

His account is much too long to quote in full, 
but he describes some of the attendant horrors with 
great pathos, as when he says that in the panic 
" brother abandoned brother, the uncle his nephew, 
the sister her brother, the wife her husband, and, 
what is more surprising still and scarcely credible, 
fathers and mothers deserted their children as if 
they were children (sic) and feared to visit or serve 
them." Another horror he mentions was the sick being 
thus deserted by neighbours, by friends, by relatives, 
so that no woman, however delicate or beautiful 
or noble, made any scruple to be served by a man, 
let him be who he might, old or young, from which 
cause many who survived lost much of the modesty 
of their manners. 

*68 The Beautiful Queen 

The plague had one good effect as far as Joanna 
was concerned : it frightened Louis of Hungary out 
of Naples, although it was not so bad there as in 
other parts of Italy, or as at Avignon and Provence. 
He, however, thought it better to remove the great 
body of his men to Apulia, to avoid the infection 
in Naples, where its ravages were sufficiently serious. 
His retreat paved the way for Joanna's return, 
and about this time the news of her acquittal by 
the Roman Consistory reached Naples, and a revul- 
sion of feeling towards their exiled Queen set in 
amongst the Neapolitans. 

With the exception of a few important men, who 
had gone too far in encouraging the Hungarians 
to hope for forgiveness from Joanna, all classes 
now united in earnestly desiring her return and 
restoration to the throne of her grandfather. The 
nobility, who hated the haughty Hungarians and 
their insupportable yoke, resolved to throw it off; 
but knowing this would be impossible without the 
help and support of their Queen, they sent secret 
messengers to Avignon, begging her to return 
and take up the reins of government again, and 
promising if she would supply them with a few 
men and some money they would fight for her 
and do all in their power to reinstate her in her 

At first Joanna was not inclined to agree to this 
proposal, knowing that it would be no easy task to 

Joanna's Acquittal ' and its Results 169 

get rid of the Hungarians ; but she laid the letters 
brought by the Neapolitan ambassadors before the 
Pope and the Cardinals, who were only more certain 
of her innocence when they read them than they 
had been before. They counselled her to grant the 
petition of her subjects as quickly as possible, and 
Clement, anxious if possible to prevent more blood- 
shed, tried to restore her to her throne by diplomatic 
measures. To which end he sent an apostolic legate 
to Louis, Cardinal Guy of Boulogne, who was a relation 
of the Queen of Hungary, and was remarkable for 
his gentle manners and persuasive powers of speech, 
by which the Pope hoped the King of Hungary might 
be persuaded to retire and leave the throne to Joanna. 

While the Cardinal was treating with Louis of 
Hungary in Naples, Joanna's staunch friend Nicholas 
Acciajuoli was engaged in trying to raise men and 
money in order to wrest the kingdom from the 
invader by force, if diplomacy failed to accomplish 
the reinstatement of Joanna. The States of Provence 
and Piedmont vied with each other in contributing 
to the expedition, but their combined efforts fell far 
short of the required sum, and the Queen was re- 
duced not only to selling her famous diamonds, but 
all her other jewels, and finally to offering the city of 
Avignon with the surrounding country to the Pope. 

Louis of Hungary, feeling sure that possession was 
nine points of law, refused to listen to any of the 
proposals of the Cardinal of Boulogne for a peaceful 

i7° The Beautiful Queen 

settlement, so there was nothing for it, if Joanna was 
to recover her kingdom, but to resort to arms. 

The sum the Queen asked for Avignon was 
80,000 golden florins. A gold florin was at that 
time worth about a fifth of an ounce of gold, so that 
the price for which she sold it was equal to about 
60,000 pounds sterling of our money. The Pope 
immediately paid this sum, which was used to defray 
the cost of ten galleys fully equipped, and armed 
with the men Acciajuoli had enlisted to relieve Naples 
from the Hungarian yoke. 

It is said that the Queen had succeeded in 
winning the friendship of Clement so completely that 
he would now do anything for her, and willingly 
agreed to pay the sum she demanded for Avignon. 
He knew that Joanna earnestly desired the coronation 
of her husband, Louis of Taranto, as King of Naples, 
and that she wished for this almost as much as she 
wished for the restoration of her kingdom ; and 
when he gave her and Louis his parting blessing 
he bestowed the coveted title upon him. 

In consequence of this sale the Emperor 
Charles IV. yielded to the Pope all the rights which 
he possessed over the town of Avignon, in the 
month of November, 1348, at Gorpiet. The Latin 
contract, still in existence, states among other things 
that Joanna sold Avignon with the consent of her 
husband, Louis of Taranto. By this sale she 
sacrificed the lesser possessions of Avignon to regain 

Joanna's Acquittal and its Results 171 

the throne of the Two Sicilies. The contract of sale 
was signed on June 19th, 1348, in the house at 
which Joanna was residing in Avignon at the time. 

Joanna remained about three weeks longer in 
the plague-stricken city of Avignon after the sign- 
ing of the contract for its sale, and then, all their 
preparations being complete, she and Louis went to 
Marseilles and embarked there for Naples, full of 
hope and elated with the knowledge that at any rate 
the campaign would not be crippled for want of 

They were returning under very different circum- 
stances from those under which they had left Naples. 
Then Joanna was suspected and openly accused of 
the murder of her first husband ; now she was 
returning with her character not only cleared, but 
with the assurance of the Pope and Cardinals that she 
was above suspicion, and was now under the special 
favour and protection of the Holy See — a valued 
friend of Clement VI., the idol of the gallant 
Provencal barons. Moreover, she was going back 
at the earnest invitation of her Neapolitan subjects, 
who were now only too ready to lay down their lives, 
if need be, to restore her to her throne. 

Peace is Proclaimed 

ALL the Neapolitan castles were occupied by the 
Hungarians, so it was not possible for Joanna 
to land in the harbour. Accordingly, when her gal- 
leys reached Naples, they stopped short at the little 
river of Sebeto, on the Vesuvian side of the city, 
by the Ponte della Maddalena, to which the in- 
habitants flocked in crowds to welcome them with 
every demonstration of joy, so that the whole 
of that part of the city rang with the shouts 
with which the people acclaimed their returning 

Foremost among the barons who hastened to 
ofFer their congratulations and allegiance were the 
Count of Minervino and his brothers, who had 
originally been on the Hungarian side, and now 
hurried to proffer all the help they could to expel 
the enemy. 

One of the former enemies of Joanna did not 

return to his allegiance. This was Francis de Baux, 


Peace is Proclaimed 173 

Count of Montecagiuso, a nephew of the late King 
Robert, whose mother Beatrice was a nun, but was 
taken out of her convent to marry Francis's father, 
Bertrand de Baux. This was sometimes allowed in 
the Middle Ages, from reasons of State or policy, 
when a dispensation was obtained from the religious 
vows to enable the person to marry. 

During the absence of Louis of Taranto this 
Francis de Baux had married one of Louis's sisters, 
without first getting his or Joanna's consent. The 
poor young Princess of Taranto had found herself 
alone and unprotected in Naples on the day when 
the Hungarians had pillaged and destroyed the 
palaces of the Neapolitan royal family, on that 
occasion when Joanna's sister Maria had fled in 
disguise. Francis de Baux had taken pity on the 
Princess, who was his cousin ; and she, knowing her 
brothers were, with the exception of Louis, all in 
captivity, consented to marry Francis without waiting 
to obtain the sanction of her family. The young 
couple, not knowing what kind of reception they 
might meet with from Joanna and Louis, were 
afraid to appear before them ; but the Queen, 
well aware that the de Baux were some of the 
richest and most powerful of her subjects, with her 
usual prudence and tact resolved to conciliate them 
and overlook the breach of royal etiquette of which 
they had been guilty. 

Accordingly she sent the Count letters-patent 

174 The Beautiful Queen 

conferring upon him the Dukedom of Andria, an 
honour which none but a prince of the royal line 
had hitherto enjoyed. Upon receiving this signal 
mark of royal favour, de Baux and his bride went 
to court and throwing themselves at Joanna's feet, 
he vowed allegiance and devotion to her cause, and 
from that time became one of her most zealous 

Nicholas Acciajuoli was now made Grand Seneschal 
of the kingdom, in reward for all his services in 
Provence, for to some extent Joanna owed the 
successful issue of her cause in the Papal Court to 
his exertions and those of his brother the Bishop 
of Florence. Joanna also rewarded with presents 
of land and money, and with various honours and 
privileges, all those who had been faithful to her, 
and all the young knights who had fought for her. 
Joanna's cause had been recommended to all the 
knights of Europe, by the Papal Court, as one which 
in those days of chivalry they were peculiarly bound 
to defend, and they were not slow to become the 
champions of the beautiful young Queen. As soon 
as Joanna returned to Naples she gave a series of 
entertainments to signalise her return, and these 
festivities and rejoicings greatly increased her popu- 
larity, and made her court a striking contrast to 
that of the barbarian Hungarian invader, whose 
courtiers treated the Neapolitans with haughty disdain, 
which they naturally resented deeply. 

Peace is Proclaimed 175 

Louis of Taranto was of great help to Joanna 
in winning popularity, for he was said to be " as 
beautiful as the day," being gifted, like his royal 
spouse, with extraordinary personal beauty ; he also 
possessed the charming manners for which all the 
Angevine family were famed. He was a fine soldier, 
and highly distinguished in all the accomplishments 
of a mediaeval knight, such as jousts, tournaments, 
and field-sports. In fact, he had all the qualities 
calculated to win the hearts of the pleasure-loving 
Neapolitans, but he did not possess the more solid 
virtues of a faithful husband, at any rate in his 
later years. 

Joanna is greatly blamed by her enemies for 
the gaiety of her court, the lavish entertainments 
in which she indulged, the luxury of her table, the 
brilliancy of her attire, and the constant round of 
balls, banquets, pageants, tournaments, and other 
festivities on which she spent so much money ; but 
she was eminendy a wise woman, and probably she 
knew that this was the best way to retain her 
husband's affections, which she succeeded in doing 
during the first years of her married life. Later, as 
we shall see, Louis led so wild and profligate a 
life that he shortened his days by his excesses. 

So long as he was engaged in fighting Joanna's 
battles for her Louis was a good husband. The 
excitement of war kept him out of mischief, and 
satisfied his energetic temperament and craving for 

176 The Beautiful Queen 

excitement, without which he could not live even 
in the fourteenth century. What he would have 
done in the twentieth century, when the craze for 
something new possesses old and young, rich and 
poor, all classes of men and women, we do not 
know. On first returning to Naples, with the 
Hungarians still in occupation, Louis had plenty 
of scope for his martial energy : he at once under- 
took an expedition against the Count of Apici — 
a powerful baron who obstinately adhered to the 
Hungarian cause, but was soon reduced to obedience 
and heavily fined for his rebellion. 

One of the most audacious of the captains of 
mercenaries, after our own Hawkwood, in these 
days was a German who went by the name of 
Duke Warner. This ruffian went about with the 
following legend embroidered in silver letters on 
his surcoat : "I am Duke Warner, the Chief of 
the Great Company, the Enemy of God, of Pity, 
and of Mercy." 

This blasphemous creature, who spread terror 
wherever he went with his band of pillaging, 
murdering, merciless adherents, was serving under 
the Hungarian King's lieutenant, Conrad Wolf, 
when Louis defeated the Count of Apici. As he 
had three thousand horsemen under him, it was 
very important to enlist his services in Joanna's 
interest if possible, and Louis took the money 
exacted from the Apici as a fine to buy Warner 

Peace is Proclaimed 177 

over to the Queen's side. Louis now gained a 
succession of small victories. With Warner's help 
he captured some of the castles and garrisoned 
towns which were in the Hungarians' hands, but 
he was not strong enough to risk a great battle, 
into which Wolf tried to draw him. " Duke 
Warner " counselled him to avoid this, though 
the Hungarians passed close to the Neapolitan 
trenches, taunting and insulting the nobles and 
endeavouring to induce them to accept their 

Foiled in these tactics, Wolf now encamped himself 
in Foggia, whose inhabitants he induced, under con- 
ditions which he violated immediately, to yield their 
city to him, hoping that Louis would try to relieve 
Foggia. Again foiled — for Louis resisted this 
temptation, and has been severely blamed for so 
doing — Wolf now advanced upon Naples, and en- 
deavoured to persuade Warner to rejoin him. Warner 
played into his hand by encamping without sentinels 
and suffering himself to be taken, and then asked 
Louis to ransom him and pay thirty thousand florins 
to the Hungarians. Louis very wisely refused to do 
anything of the kind, and Warner attached himself 
to Wolf, who was further reinforced by troops from 
Hungary and another band of mercenaries com- 
manded by the Count of Lando. 

The Neapolitans of all classes now put forth 
their whole strength to repel their cruel foes. The 


178 The Beautiful Queen 

peasants thronged into Naples armed with reaping 
hooks, scythes, spades — anything they could lay 
hands on for want of proper arms — to try to 
deliver their country from the hated Hungarians. 
The nobles, including the Count of Minervino, who 
had originally been on the Hungarian side, now 
collected all the armed men they could muster, and 
poured them into the city ; but unfortunately Wolf 
cut off the supplies of provisions from the Terra 
di Lavoro, so that the city was reduced to what 
it could obtain by sea from Calabria and other 

The Neapolitans, impatient at having their rations 
reduced, and quite against the advice of Louis, who 
knew they were not strong enough to give battle to 
the Hungarians, allowed themselves to be tricked 
into an engagement, in which many perished, for 
they were surrounded on all sides by the enemy. 
The mercenaries whom the Hungarians had engaged 
now became dissatisfied with their wretched payment, 
and threatened to leave their employers in the lurch, 
so the Transylvanian General, Prince Stephen, de- 
livered into their hands in the place of money all 
the prisoners of war whom they had taken. The 
unfortunate prisoners were subjected to the most 
horrible tortures by these cruel bands, who were 
guilty of rapine, murder, and every vice. The 
prisoners paid large sums of money to ransom 
themselves ; but the mercenaries, when they found 

Peace is Proclaimed 179 

they could not extort sufficient to satisfy their 
greed, resolved to take Stephen himself prisoner and 
torture him in the hope of getting a larger sum of 
money. Fortunately the Transylvanian prince was 
warned of these intentions, and one night managed 
to effect his escape with some of his officers. 

Duke Warner had formerly been employed in 
the service of the Church, so he was known to the 
Cardinal Legate Ceccano, as were also other of the 
German officers ; and on his offering them 1 20,000 
florins, they agreed to deliver up the two towns 
of Aversa and Capua, and to go back to Germany. 
Louis of Taranto then fortified these two towns 
very strongly, so that the following year Aversa 
was able to resist when besieged by the Hungarian 

Another celebrated character fighting on the side 
of the Hungarians was Fra Moriale, a knight of 
Jerusalem, whose real name was Montreal D'Albano. 
He was a Provencal by birth, and had formerly been 
in the service of Joanna's brother-in-law, the Duke 
of Durazzo. He now retired to Apulia with 
Conrad Wolf, and sent word to Louis of Hungary 
that the Germans had forsaken him and gone back 
to their own country. 

Fra Moriale's end was a tragic one, though it 
is rather anticipating events to mention it. After 
the Hungarians had left Naples, Fra Moriale re- 
mained behind ; and collecting together a large band 

180 The Beautiful Queen 

of adventurers, he ravaged Italy, finally making 
war against the Viscontis. He was taken prisoner 
in Rome, and, being brought before the tribunal of 
Rienzi, then in power, he was sentenced to death, 
and beheaded in 1354. 

On hearing that the Germans had left Naples, 
Louis of Hungary soon after entered Apulia with 
a large force of 10,000 horsemen, besides a number 
of foot-soldiers. No sooner was Louis of Taranto 
aware that his enemy was so near, than he sent him 
a challenge to decide the matter by single combat 
with him, and gave him the choice of Naples, 
Avignon, Paris, or Perugia, as the scene of the 

Louis of Hungary agreed to accept the challenge, 
but objected to all the places named, as being too 
favourably inclined to his adversary, and suggested 
that the duel should be fought in the presence 
of the Bishop of Aquila, or of the Emperor of 
Germany, or else in that of their common friend, 
the King of England, or in that of their respective 
armies, in which latter case there is every reason to 
suppose the Hungarians would have been guilty 
of some treachery. 

For some reason or other this duel never came 
off, and soon after the King of Hungary, while 
besieging the city of Canoza in Apulia, was danger- 
ously wounded and picked up apparently dead 
before the walls, and carried back to his own camp, 

Peace is Proclaimed 181 

where he recovered and soon after captured Salerno. 
The citadel of Lucera was given up treacherously 
to him by the governor, and he then advanced to 
Aversa, thinking to take that easily. 

He was, however, mistaken, and the siege of Aversa 
lasted three months before Pignatello, the governor, 
was forced by starvation to capitulate on honourable 

It was while the Hungarians were still invading 
her kingdom that Joanna heard of the death of her 
little son by Andrew, Canrobert, the heir to her 
throne, who it will be remembered had been sent 
to Hungary by Louis of Hungary soon after he 
first came to Naples. Some few months after Joanna 
returned to Naples from Avignon she gave birth 
to a daughter, who was baptized Francesca. The 
child was idolised by both her parents, and before she 
was three years old a marriage had been arranged 
for her with the heir of the kingdom of Aragon. 

A year after the birth of the Princess Francesca 
Joanna gave birth to another daughter, who was 
named Catherine. She, however, died in infancy, 
and thenceforth all Joanna's hopes were concentrated 
upon Francesca, her only son having perished in 
a foreign land. 

After the capitulation of Aversa the Queen and 
her husband and child, with some faithful friends, 
went to Gaeta by sea, fearing that Louis of Hungary, 
now on his way to Naples, might take them prisoners, 

1 82 The Beautiful Queen 

and hoping in case of necessity to be able to retreat 
to Provence, in ten galleys which were in waiting 
for them at Gaeta. 

These ten galleys were not considered sufficient, 
so the High Admiral of the kingdom, Rinaldo de 
Baux, was ordered to bring eight more from Naples. 
Once more was Joanna threatened with treason ; for 
while she was waiting at Gaeta for the reinforce- 
ments her Admiral was commanded to bring, there 
arrived one day a messenger who desired a secret 
audience of the Queen, in the course of which he 
informed her that de Baux, who was supposed to 
be laying in provisions before he left Naples, had 
concluded a bargain with Louis of Hungary by 
which he pledged himself to deliver Joanna and 
her husband and the little Princess Francesca, to- 
gether with Joanna's sister, Maria of Sicily, the 
Duchess of Durazzo, and her children, into the hands 
of the King of Hungary. The reward he asked 
for this act of treachery was the hand of Maria's 
eldest daughter, the heiress of the principality ot 
Durazzo, for his son. 

As soon as the Admiral and his fleet reached 
Gaeta, Joanna sent a message to him to come at 
once to the palace to see her, De Baux refused on 
various pretexts, and even declined to enter the 
harbour ; and as, so long as he remained outside with 
his fleet, the flight of the Queen to Provence, if 
it should become necessary was prevented, Louis 

Peace is Proclaimed 183 

of Taranto decided upon very summary measures. 
He took three or four faithful friends with him, and 
embarking on board a small boat managed to get 
on board the Admiral's ship before he was aware of 
his approach ; and making his way into the traitor's 
presence, Louis attacked him and slew him there and 
then with his sword. It was a bold move, quite 
in keeping with the rough times and with the 
character of Louis, and perhaps justified by the 
circumstances. Indeed, it seemed the quickest way 
out of the dilemma in which de Baux's treachery 
had placed the Queen, who was fated so often in 
the course of her adventurous life to suffer from 

While these things were happening at Gaeta 
Louis of Hungary had entered Naples with his 
ragged, half-starved army, and had encamped on 
the spot where now stands the Church of the 
Incoronata, afterwards built by Joanna. 

Naples was then divided into twelve sections 
called Piazze, and from each of these twelve 
divisions a proclamation was issued in which Louis 
of Hungary offered to save the city from destruction 
on condition of the people contributing a heavy fine, 
to compensate his soldiers for the plunder they would 
gain if he allowed them to pillage it. 

He called a meeting of the nobility and principal 
citizens at Castel Nuovo, and made the same 
proposal to them, and rebuked them for the 

184 The Beautiful Queen 

affection they had shown their Queen and all they 
had done for her. The sight of the miserable 
horses and soldiers of the Hungarian army, however, 
excited the ridicule of the Neapolitans, who collected 
together from every quarter of the city, and 
threatened to give battle to their enemies if they 
attempted the least violence, and absolutely refused 
to give a penny to buy them off. 

Louis, thinking that his enfeebled troops would 
not have much chance against the Neapolitans, who 
were determined to strain every nerve to save 
their beautiful city, thought it prudent to retire 
to Apulia, and if possible join his forces to those 
of Conrad Wolf there. 

The Pope, hearing of this move, thought a favour- 
able time had arrived for him to try to conclude 
peace, as both sides were getting exhausted ; and, 
according to one account, he commanded Louis, 
under pain of excommunication, to leave Naples — 
or rather Joanna's dominions — at once, and allow 
Joanna and her husband to take possession of her 

Louis proposed a truce for a year, and demanded 
another trial before the Pope and Cardinals of 
Joanna, promising, if she were declared innocent 
again, to give up her kingdom to her, and Joanna 
promised to resign it if she were pronounced guilty. 

Of course Joanna was pronounced innocent a 
second time — no one ever had any misgivings on 

Peace is Proclaimed 185 

that score ; and the Pope then drew up a treaty 
with the Hungarian ambassadors, in which it 
was stipulated that Louis of Taranto should not 
bear the title of King, and that if Joanna had no 
children to survive her, her rights were to pass to 
Louis of Hungary or his successors, to the exclusion 
of her sister, the widowed Duchess of Durazzo. 

The Hungarians signed this treaty, but when 
it was put before Joanna she refused absolutely to 
exclude her husband from the throne, or to sign 
away her sister's right of succession, or to submit 
her people to the danger of the hated Hungarian 
yoke. As Joanna was firm, and it was evident 
that she would never yield, and would refuse to 
sign any treaty except one of whose terms she 
approved, the Pope gave way to her eloquence, and 
drew up another treaty, in which the title of King 
was granted to Louis of Taranto, and all the con- 
ditions as to the succession contained in the will 
of the late King Robert were agreed to ; the Pope 
stipulating that Joanna should pay Louis a sum of 
300,000 florins for delivering up all the castles and 
fortresses he had captured in Naples. 

At this juncture Louis's haughtiness stood Joanna 
in good stead, for with the pride of his race he 
refused to accept the money. 

" No ! " he cried : " not for the sake of lands and 
gold, but only out of revenge of the murder of 
my brother have I fought. My work is finished. 

1 86 The Beautiful Queen 

The angry shadows are reconciled. I desire nothing 

Would not this conduct be sufficient to prove 
the innocence of Joanna if more proof were wanting ? 
for if she had been guilty of the murder of Andrew, 
Louis of Hungary had received no satisfaction 
for it. 

The Pope and the Cardinals were much pleased 
at this magnanimity on the part of the Hungarian 
King, and thanked him cordially for it ; and 
Joanna, as soon as the treaty was signed, sent an 
embassy to Clement to thank him on her part 
for all the trouble he had taken on her behalf, 
and at the same time to beg him to issue a Bull 
for her own coronation and for that of her husband. 
The Pope granted her request, issued the desired 
Bull, and sent the Bishop of Braganca to perform 
the ceremony of coronation on Whit-Sunday, which 
that year fell on May 25 th. 

The Coronation of Joanna 

ONE of the conditions of the treaty of peace 
between Joanna and Louis of Hungary 
was the liberation of all the princes of the blood 
royal, who had been sent to Hungary after the 
murder of the Duke of Durazzo, and had been 
imprisoned now for four years in the castle of 
Visgrade. Their imprisonment had been for 
Joanna the soul of good in the evil of the invasion 
of her kingdom, for if they had been at liberty, 
their quarrels with each other and their ambition 
would have weakened her cause by creating divisions 
in her realm, and it would have been better for 
Joanna if they had never been liberated, as it turned 
out, for they were a turbulent set. 

Preparations were now made for the coronation, 
and people began to flock into Naples from all 
parts of the kingdom to witness what promised 

to be a magnificent spectacle, for it was well known 


1 88 The Beautiful Queen 

that Joanna loved pomp and grand functions. 
But not even Joanna's coronation was allowed to 
take place peacefully ; a serious disturbance took 
place just before it came off, and a great sorrow 
befell her immediately after it was over. 

One of those mercenary bands which were one 
of the terrors of the Middle Ages, commanded by 
a German named Beltram della Molta, waylaid a 
number of the barons and their wives, who were 
proceeding to the coronation, near Aversa, and 
robbed them of the splendid dresses they were 
about to wear at it, and of all the jewels and other 
valuables which they had brought with them. This 
band of robbers was a thousand strong, all mounted 
men, and the barons were powerless against them ; 
but Louis of Taranto, hearing of the outrage, went 
in pursuit with five hundred knights, and succeeded 
in dispersing all the band, except Beltram and 
twenty of his followers, who alone escaped, for those 
who were not slain by the swords of Louis and his 
knights were killed by the peasants. 

The coronation took place on the Feast of Pente- 
cost in the chapel of the old Palais de Justice, which 
was afterwards included in the Church of the In- 
coronata, which Joanna built in 1352 to commemorate 
her coronation and her marriage with Louis of 
Taranto. Pentecost was ever a favourite feast with 
the Angevine family. 

After the High Mass, which was celebrated with 

The Coronation of Joanna 189 

all the grand ritual of the Catholic Church, the 
beautiful and majestic young Queen and her hand- 
some husband, clad in violet velvet robes (violet 
being the colour of the Neapolitan royal family), 
knelt before the Bishop of Braganca to receive the 
crown from his hands, Louis being crowned as 
King-consort. The splendid robes of the King 
and Queen and their courtiers and the handsome 
vestments of the Bishop and clergy made a 
magnificent blaze of colour in the chapel on this 
day, which is said to have been the happiest of 
Joanna's life, although it was destined to end in 

After the ceremony was over Joanna and Louis 
went in procession round the city, to give the 
populace an opportunity of seeing them : they rode 
on horseback, with their crowns on their heads, their 
horses led by two noblemen. Just as they passed 
the church of San Giorgio Maggiore, after coming 
through the Porta Nolana, where the hospital of 
San Giovanni now stands, some ladies threw some 
flowers from a balcony to greet them. Unfortunately 
this so startled the King's horse that it reared 
and broke the bridle-reins held by two barons, and 
Louis threw himself off its back ; he escaped 
unhurt, but his crown fell from his head and broke 
in three pieces. 

The attendants and bystanders all cried out with 
the vehemence of their nationality that this was a 

190 The Beautiful Queen 

dreadful sign portending all sorts of evil ; but the 
King only laughed and called for another horse, and, 
fastening the broken crown together as well as he 
could, set it on his head again and continued his 
progress round the city. It was late in the evening 
when Joanna and her royal consort returned to the 
Castel Nuovo, to find these unhappy prognostica- 
tions realised sufficiently to justify the superstition 
of their subjects, at least in their opinion. 

The little Princess had been left in charge of her 
attendants in the Castel Nuovo, which was that day 
deserted by every one else, as all had gone to see 
the coronation and the procession, and during her 
mother's absence she had been taken ill, probably 
with convulsions, as she died before Joanna returned, 
and this was the sad news which greeted her parents 
when they got home from the grand ceremonies in 
which they had been engaged. Joanna was now 
dashed from the happiness she had that day enjoyed 
in such fulness, and was plunged into the grief 
which only a mother's heart can know. This was 
the third child she had lost within a year or two, 
and it was the idol of her and Louis, on whom all 
their hopes were fixed. Her little son had recently 
died in a foreign land, after being taken from her 
when only a baby, then the infant daughter of Louis 
had died, and now the little Princess Francesca was 
cut off. 

So far as the child was concerned, it was a 

The Coronation of Joanna 19 1 

merciful dispensation of Providence, for had she 
lived she would probably have fallen a victim to 
some of her mother's enemies in that age of violence, 
but it is not to be imagined that her mother saw 
it in that light. Joanna never had another child 
of her own ; she adopted one of her sister Maria's 
little girls, and later on she adopted Charles of 
Durazzo as her heir, and nourished a viper in her 
bosom when she did so. 

That same year, not long after peace had been 
proclaimed, another sorrow met Joanna in the death 
of her friend Pope Clement VI., who had been a 
second father to her, in not only pronouncing her 
innocent of the crime of which her enemies had. 
accused her, but in also restoring her to her throne. 
The memory of this Pope, who was one of the most 
profound scholars of the age, and a most mild and 
benevolent sovereign, has suffered much at the hands 
of Italian historians, because of his persistence in 
residing at Avignon instead of at Rome. On the 
other hand, the French historian de Sade says he 
was one of the greatest men who ever filled the 
Chair of Peter, and that if he had some faults, they 
were atoned for by great virtues and amiable qualities, 
and that he accomplished a great undertaking in 
which his predecessors had failed — namely, he 
deposed the troublesome Louis of Bavaria and 
elected Charles of Luxembourg in his place. This 
Louis of Bavaria was the great enemy of the 

i<? 2 The Beautiful Queen 

Pope John XXII., and had presumed to set up 
an antipope in his place after the Pope had ex- 
communicated him, and the Prince Colonna had 
the courage to affix the sentence to the walls of 
the Vatican. By the deposition of this Emperor 
the great struggle, which had troubled the Church 
so long, between the Papacy and the Empire was 

Petrarch says of Clement VI. that none merited 
better the name of Clement, which was well deserved 
by his actions. An example of his clemency is 
given by his biographers which well illustrates this 
trait in his character. A person who had grievously 
offended him once ventured to ask a favour of 
him ; the Pope was tempted to seize the opportunity 
of revenging himself by refusing to listen to his 
request, but he resisted the temptation and granted 
the favour. 

He was very eloquent, and spoke with great 
fluency and dignity. He succeeded in the difficult 
task of reconciling Joanna and the King of Hungary, 
and in obtaining a truce between the Kings of 
France and England, whose wars disturbed his 
reign. He just failed to reconcile the Greek and 
Latin Churches, for which he laboured with great 
wisdom and prudence. His conduct during the 
Great Plague, when his charity and generosity were 
so conspicuous, may well atone for faults of worldli- 
ness and love of luxury, which made him refuse to 

The Coronation of Joanna 193 

transfer the Papal See back to Rome, even at the 
bidding of the great Swedish saint and mystic, 
St. Bridget, Princess of Nericia. 

Another of Clement's good actions was that he 
ordered Casimir, King of Poland, who was leading a 
most immoral life, to send away his mistresses and to 
be faithful to his wife. The King refused at first to 
do this, but he afterwards submitted, and performed 
the penance the Pope imposed upon him. Petrarch 
never liked Clement, and often satirised him because 
his luxurious life was so unlike that of the Apostles, 
so his remark quoted above about his clemency is 
the more valuable. 

Upon the death of Clement, the Cardinals, seeing 
the need for reform in the Church, and thinking 
that the new Pope should be a man of austere life, 
turned their eyes upon a very holy Carthusian monk 
named John Birel, who was at that time General 
of his Order, the strictest in the Church. He was 
a native of Limousin, and was famed for his sanctity 
of life, and his zeal in preaching repentance, and his 
courage in exhorting kings and princes with the 
utmost frankness and severity. 

One of the Cardinals, named Talleyrand, an 
ancestor of the diplomatist, took alarm at the 
prospect of so strict a successor to Clement, and 
said to the other Cardinals : 

" What are you going to do ? Don't you see 
that this monk, accustomed to govern anchorites, 

J 3 

19 6 The Beautiful Queen 

frequently declined. Nearly the whole of the poetry 
of Zanobi has been lost ; all that remains of his works 
are some prose translations of the works of Gregory 
the Great. Not long after his appointment as 
Apostolical Secretary he died of the plague at 
Avignon, to which court his post attached him. 
The Florentines held him in such high estimation 
that they proposed in 1396 to erect monuments 
worthy of Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, and Zanobi de 

The island of Sicily : had revolted from the 
Angevine rule in the latter part of the thirteenth 
century, the first outbreak taking place at the 
Sicilian Vespers, when the French were murdered 
at Palermo, the signal being the bell for Vespers. 
The islanders then placed themselves under the 
government of the Aragonese dynasty ; but at 
the time of Joanna's coronation, the King Frederick 
being a minor, the Sicilians were governed by a 
regency, who so oppressed the people that a party 
arose in rebellion against it, headed by Simon, 
Count of Chiaramonte, who was in fact, though not 
in name, the ruler of the whole of the most fertile 
part of the island. This party, three years after 
the coronation of Joanna and Louis, appealed to 
them to send them provisions to ward off an 
impending famine, and troops to help them to 
resist their oppressors. 

Naples being now prosperous, the Queen sent 

The Coronation of Joanna 197 

them an abundance of provisions, but as the 
rivalry of the Princes of Taranto and Durazzo 
constantly led to fighting between them, Joanna 
could only send them a hundred men-at-arms under 
Nicholas Acciajuoli, and four hundred horsemen 
under Raymond de Baux, while Louis remained 
at home to defend his rights there. 

The following year, Naples being quieter, Louis 
was able to take a small army into Sicily, and there 
he fought so valiantly that he soon made himself 
master of nearly all the island, except Catania and 
its neighbourhood. Frederick, the young King, 
was in Catania, and for three months the Neapolitans 
besieged the city under Raymond de Baux, whom 
both Joanna and Louis loved as a father. 

In the meanwhile Joanna, on Christmas Eve, 1356, 
came across from Naples and made a solemn entry 
into Messina with Louis. Here they were crowned 
King and Queen of Sicily, and afterwards received 
the allegiance of the Messinese and of the chief 
barons of the island. 

Here we will make a brief digression to tell the 
romantic story of a lady of Messina, who was one 
of the Illustrious Women of Boccaccio and lived 
in Joanna's time, though she was many years older 
than the Queen. Her name was Camiola Turinga, 
she was very rich and was as good as she was 
beautiful, and when she was young and unmarried, 
a young and handsome Prince of Aragon, named 

198 The Beautiful Queen 

Orlando, excited her compassion. During the 
reign of his brother Peter, King of Sicily, Orlando 
had, against his brother's express command, given 
battle to the Neapolitan fleet, and had lost all his 
own ships and was taken prisoner and cast into 
a Neapolitan dungeon in one of their castles, from 
which Peter refused to ransom him, and, but for 
the compassion of Camiola, he would probably have 
been doomed to pass his life in this durance vile. 
She, wishing to procure his liberty, sent a messenger 
to his prison in Naples to offer to pay his ransom 
if, in return, he would promise to marry her on 
his release. 

Orlando, delighted at the prospect of regaining 
his freedom, willingly signed a contract of marriage, 
and Camiola paid his ransom ; but no sooner was 
the prince set free than he absolutely refused to 
marry her, and treated her with scorn and haughty 

Camiola now appealed to the King Peter, who 
decided that Orlando belonged to Camiola, as by 
the law of the land he was now her slave, whom 
she had bought with her money, and a day was 
fixed for the marriage to take place. Orlando 
arrived on the day fixed with a splendid, princely 
retinue, and went to Camiola's house, where he 
found her dressed as a bride in magnificent attire, 
and wearing costly jewels ; but instead of, receiving 
him with signs of affection, she told him she would 

The Coronation of Joanna 199 

scorn to ally herself with a man who had broken 
his knightly word and disgraced his royal birth 
and violated the sacred laws of chivalry, and that 
all that she could do for him was to make him a 
present of the ransom she had already paid, seeing 
that all he cared for was money ; she would hence- 
forth dedicate herself and her fortune to Heaven 
and enter a convent. 

Orlando pleaded for forgiveness, but she refused 
to listen or to change her mind, and the prince, 
who was shunned by all honourable men, his equals, 
fell into a state of depression and died not long 
after, friendless and forlorn. 

But to return to Messina in 1356. When Joanna 
arrived at the Castle she found the two sisters 
of the King of Sicily, the Princesses Bianca and 
Violante, were imprisoned there : she at once had 
them liberated and treated them as her own sisters. 
The King Frederick was very delicate, and in case 
of his death Bianca was the heiress of Sicily. The 
Count de Chiramonte asked for her hand in 
marriage as soon as she was liberated, as a reward 
for his services ; but Joanna and Louis dared not 
consent to this, in case the young King should die, 
so they refused their consent, but offered Chiramonte 
the Duchess of Durazzo instead. This would have 
been a splendid match for the Count ; but he died 
a few days after the Queen's refusal to his proposal 
for the Princess Bianca, which he had deeply 

200 The Beautiful Queen 

resented. His family also were so angry at his 
rejection that they all went back to their allegiance 
to the house of Aragon, and left Joanna in the 

At the end of three months de Baux was obliged 
to raise the siege of Catania, as he had not sufficient 
means to pay the Sicilian troops who had joined him, 
and after some fighting, in which he was at first 
victorious, he was eventually defeated and taken 
prisoner by the Catanians, who were superior in 
numbers. Acciajuoli escaped by the skin of his 
teeth, but de Baux was confined in the Castle of 
Francavilla. The Queen had not sufficient money to 
ransom her faithful servant, so she sold her jewels 
and offered the proceeds, which were a large sum 
of money, for his release. The Regency, however, 
refused to accept the money, and asked instead that 
the two Princesses Bianca and Violante, who were 
very happy with Joanna, should be exchanged for 
de Baux. 

This exchange was agreed to by the Queen, and 
the two Princesses were set at liberty ; but the 
governor of the castle in which the High Admiral 
was confined declined to release him, notwithstand- 
ing the orders of the Regency, and demanded an 
additional ransom of two thousand ducats, which 
the Queen paid. 

Unfortunately, during the absence of the Queen and 
Louis war had broken out between Louis of Durazzo 

From an early woodcut portrait, by kind permission of Mr. St. Clair Baddeley. 

p. 200] 

The Coronation of Joanna 201 

on one side, and Louis's eldest brother, the Prince 
of Taranto, on the other. The Count of Minervino 
(who, it will be remembered, had been released from 
the perpetual imprisonment to which he had been 
condemned in the reign of King Robert) now joined 
Louis of Durazzo ; and as this civil war was ravaging 
the kingdom, Joanna and Louis of Taranto were 
obliged to leave the conquest of Sicily, which they 
would otherwise have completed, and return to 
Naples to restore peace there. 

On their arrival they summoned the Prince of 
Taranto, Louis of Durazzo, and the Count of 
Minervino to appear before them. The Prince 
of Taranto at once obeyed, and submitted to the 
Queen's authority ; but Louis of Durazzo absolutely 
refused to come into the presence of either the King 
or the Queen, or to yield them any obedience. The 
Count of Minervino appeared at court, but behaved 
in so haughty a manner and made such unreason- 
able demands that the sovereigns had no choice but 
to oppose him on the battlefield. He was very 
rich, for he and his brothers, the other Pipini, had 
acquired great wealth by their former ravages, and 
they were assisted by the barbarian mercenaries they 

The throne was now in great danger, and a civil 
war ensued which disturbed the country ; but in the 
end the Queen's forces were happily victorious, and 
the Pipini destroyed root and branch. The Count 

202 The Beautiful Queen 

of Minervino was taken prisoner, and condemned 
to the ignominious death of hanging. One of his 
brothers was thrown down from a high tower by 
one of his own soldiers, and the third of the Pipini 
managed to escape from Naples, but was never 
afterwards heard of, and is believed to have perished. 
Thus this family, which had given so much trouble 
to the late King as well as to Joanna, was at last 

The Queen, with her usual generosity, granted 
Louis of Durazzo a free pardon, on account of his 
royal birth and relationship to her. A great banquet 
was given in the Bishop's Palace by Louis and 
Joanna to celebrate the reconciliation. All the 
members of the royal family were invited to be 
present, and after the banquet the whole of the 
Neapolitan nobility attended the King in a royal 
progress round the city. 

For several days tournaments and jousts were held 
to amuse the people, and in the evenings what were 
called " solemn balls " were given at court, at which 
the majestic Queen was the most striking figure and 
the object of universal admiration. This took place 
in 1359. 

In the following year the haughty Louis of 
Durazzo died, and Joanna undertook the education 
of his eldest son, Charles, whom she afterwards 
unfortunately adopted as her heir, for he turned 
out a traitor and the worst of her enemies, in spite 

The Coronation of Joanna 203 

of all the affection she lavished upon him. He was 
a child of twelve at the time of his father's death. 

About this time Joanna adopted her sister Maria's 
youngest daughter, Margaret, whom Charles of 
Durazzo afterwards married, and brought her up as 
her own daughter. Maria resigned her to Joanna 
the more readily because, soon after the peace 
celebrations were concluded, she married a second 
time, her second husband being Philip of Taranto, 
the younger brother of Joanna's husband Louis. 
Thus the two sisters were now married to two 
brothers. The little Princess Margaret was only a 
few months younger than the child Joanna had lost 
on the day of her coronation, and no doubt helped 
to console her for that loss. The unhappy Queen 
needed consolation, for Louis of Taranto, now 
there was no more fighting to be done, seems to 
have grown tired of Joanna, and to have been un- 
faithful to her, and given himself up to intemperance 
and other vices while Acciajuoli was continuing the 
war in Sicily. 

It was at this time that the Neapolitan court 
was at its gayest. Pageants, balls, tournaments and 
banquets, and all kinds of gaiety were the order 
of the day, into all of which Louis entered with such 
extravagance that he ruined his constitution, and, 
about three years after the defeat of the Pipini, he 
died at Castel Nuovo of a fever in May, 1362, and 
Joanna was left a widow for the second time. 

Joanna's Second Widowhood 

T OUIS of Taranto had the misfortune to live too 
■*— ' long for his reputation, but he has also suffered 
at the hands of the historian Villani, who has ex- 
aggerated his vices. For the first years of his 
married life he was a good husband. Twice by his 
gallant fighting he saved Joanna's crown for her, 
and he had shared her troubles with her at the 
beginning of their joint reign, but prosperity did not 
suit him. He fell into the hands of dissolute com- 
panions and shared in their vicious lives, ruined his 
constitution by his excesses, and died at the early 
age of forty-two. 

A royal widow in the Middle Ages was almost as 
much to be pitied as a Hindoo widow is now. She 
was condemned to lie on a bed covered with white 
linen for a certain number of days, which varied in 
different countries. In France the Queen was not 
supposed to leave her room for a whole year after 

the death of the "King, but Joanna certainly did not 


Joanna's Second Widowhood 205 

follow this example. She had to wear mourning for 
a year, but white, not black, was the colour worn by 
Queens for widow's mourning then. She was for- 
bidden by the fashion then prevalent to wear any 
jewels, gloves (at that time a great luxury), rings, 
ribbons, or costly furs, and her apartments certainly 
during the first three months of widowhood were 
hung with deepest black — and horribly depressing 
they must have been. Her dress had to be 
made in fashion like that of a nun, her glorious 
hair was hidden under a hood and veil, her face 
shrouded in a white linen binder. Some of the 
restrictions imposed upon her were removed at the 
expiration of each three months during the year of 
mourning, but all that time she was condemned 
to live in the greatest seclusion. 

It is believed that Joanna was deeply attached to 
this her second husband, who had shared so many 
troubles with her, and his handsome presence and 
bravery and skill in all active sports were calculated 
to win her affections. One of his good acts was the 
founding of the first Order of knighthood in Italy, 
on the first anniversary of his coronation. This was 
the Order of the Knot, and was dedicated to the 
Holy Spirit. The members wore a blue mantle 
embroidered with golden fleur-de-lis, and jewelled 
and fastened on the breast with a knot of gold and 
silver. When a knight performed any feat of arms, 
or achieved any knightly success, a fresh knot was 

206 The Beautiful Queen 

added to his mantle, and this was repeated at every 
fresh victory. The two mottoes of the Order were 
" Si Dieu plait " and " Au droit desir." 

The same day that Louis instituted his Order of 
the Knot, Joanna laid the foundation-stone of the 
Incoronata Church and the hospital attached to it. 
This was built on the site of the court in which the 
Duke of Calabria sat when he administered the justice 
for which he was so famed. During her second 
widowhood she also enlarged and decorated the then 
unfinished monastery of San Martino, which her 
father had begun, and she also richly endowed the 
monastery of the Poor Clares, in whose church 
the late King and Queen, Robert and Sancha, 
and Joanna's father, the Duke of Calabria, were 

Joanna was most generous and charitable, and 
during her reign she founded and endowed many 
other churches and institutions, among others the 
church and hospital of St. Anthony of Padua ; so that 
one of her biographers says, " The various monu- 
ments we have of her show how great must have 
been her piety and religion." 

There is an unfinished building in the Piazza 
Mergellina, called to this day by the Neapolitans 
" the palace of Queen Joanna," which is now a 
beautiful ruin ; this she also began to build. She 
enriched the city with many secular buildings 
notable for their magnificence and good art. There 

Joanna's Second Widowhood 207 

were at least five first-rate Italian architects in the 
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. To begin with 
there were Giovanni and Nicholas of Pisa, Brunel- 
leschi, and the two Masuccios, the second of whom 
designed the monastery belfry at St. Clare. 

Giotto di Bondone, who painted the frescoes in the 
Church of St. Clare — begun, as we have just said, by 
the late King Robert— died when Joanna was about 
eleven years old, but his glorious art had been epoch- 
making, and there were many of his disciples whom 
she could employ to beautify the churches she built. 
A rather amusing story is told of Giotto, who, as all 
the world knows, was taken by Cimabue from tend- 
ing his father's sheep into his own house, and trained 
by him because he in passing had seen the boy's 
talent displayed in drawings of his sheep with a 
piece of chalk. 

Giotto is said to have been remarkably ugly, and 
very small, and on one occasion he was riding near 
Florence with a friend, who was equally ugly, and as 
celebrated as a doctor-of-law as Giotto was as an 
artist, when they were overtaken by a thunderstorm 
and were obliged to take shelter in a peasant's 
cottage ; and as they were wet to the skin, they had 
to borrow clothing of their host. Giotto looked so 
sublimely ridiculous in his borrowed garments, which 
were much too big for his little body, that his friend 
burst out laughing and said, " Who to see you, 
Giotto, would ever think you were the greatest 

208 The Beautiful Queen 

painter in the world ? " " And who to see you, 
could ever think you knew your alphabet ? " replied 
the artist. 

Giotto's frescoes in the Church of St. Clare at 
Naples were destroyed later by a Spanish viceroy, 
who had them whitewashed to make the church 
lighter — the "dim religious light" and Giotto's 
delightful art not appealing to this Philistine. 

Giotto was succeeded by Simon Martini, who is 
mentioned by Boccaccio; but though Giotto's influence 
was undoubtedly felt at Naples, there has never been 
a great Neapolitan school of art, either in painting 
or architecture. The two Masuccios are usually 
regarded as the founders of Neapolitan sculpture, 
but little that is reliable is known of them. 

It was during this second widowhood that Joanna 
showed her capabilities as a ruler. Her character 
had now developed, and she began with both 
prudence and vigour to try to restore tranquillity 
to her kingdom, which was torn asunder by so many 
broils and dissensions. She endeavoured to suppress 
the brigands who were such a pest, and to bring 
to justice the malefactors who infested the country ; 
and she succeeded in accomplishing this great and 
glorious task, which would have taxed the powers ot 
her illustrious predecessor — the wise King Robert. 

She showed great clemency and even munificence 
to those who had rebelled against her, or who had 
been partisans of her enemies, and forgave injuries 

Joanna's Second Widowhood 209 

freely ; so that Caracciola says that no prince before 
her had ever acted so generously and benignly 
towards the Neapolitans, that she forgot injuries 
and remembered benefits, and most richly rewarded 
all those who followed her adverse fortunes. He 
also says that " if there exist other rulers who 
have enriched individuals more richly, there are 
none who equalled her in the multiplicity of her 

" Never," says this same writer, " shall we see 
this city more populous than under this same Queen ; 
never was the arrival of mercantile ships more 
frequent than under her government and protection. 
This was all due to the love she had for her people, 
and the care she lavished upon them. The people 
increased so fast that they almost turned the churches 
into houses for them to live in. Everywhere there 
was abundance of food and plenty of commerce, and 
the nation enjoyed great ease and security." 

This was perhaps the most prosperous part of 
Joanna's reign, but the period of peace did not last 
long. Her calumniators attributed every misfortune, 
including the death of Louis, to the vengeance of 
Heaven for the murder of her first husband, 
Andrew ; and fearing that as a widow she might on 
account of her great beauty be exposed to slander 
and evil report, at the conclusion of the term of her 
mourning for Louis, she was advised by her friends 
to marry again in order to have a protector. More- 

210 The Beautiful Queen 

over, the nation earnestly desired that she should 
have a son to inherit her crown, otherwise it was 
to be feared that civil war would break out again 
among the turbulent Neapolitan princes. 

Soon after the death of Louis of Taranto the 
Pope Innocent VI. died — indeed, one of his last 
public acts was to celebrate Mass for the repose of 
the soul of the late King of Naples. In the conclave 
which followed his death the Cardinals were almost 
as puzzled whom to choose for his successor as they 
had been when his predecessor died. Their first 
choice fell upon Cardinal Hugh Roger, the brother 
of Clement VI., but he refused to accept the honour. 
The result of the next ballot, which is piously 
believed to have been the work of the Holy Spirit, 
was the election of the Abb6 William de Grimoard, 
a most holy man, then Abbot of the Monastery of 
St. Victor, Marseilles, who was celebrated for his 
great wisdom and virtue. 

Although a Frenchman, he sympathised with the 
claims of Rome as the seat of the Papacy, and 
considered Avignon as a temporary place of residence 
only, and desired to move the Chair of Peter back 
to the Eternal City. At the time of his election 
de Grimoard was at Naples, where he had been 
sent by the Avignon Court, ostensibly to convey 
messages of condolence on the death of Louis to 
Joanna, but in reality to watch her conduct and 
to report upon it. For five months he resided at 

Joanna's Second Widowhood 211 

the Neapolitan Court as the Abbot of St. Victor, 
and during that time formed so high an opinion 
of the Queen that he became one of her great 
friends, and after he was raised to the Papal throne 
he treated her with even greater respect and honour 
that Clement VI. had done, and, as will appear, 
bestowed honours upon her such as have never before 
or since been conferred upon a woman. 

Joanna's appearance when the future Pope was 
residing at her court must have been very striking. 
Her majestic figure was robed in pure white, and 
the absence of all ornaments and artificial aids to 
beauty must have given a kind of angelic severity 
to her classic features. Her devotion and charity 
made a great impression upon the holy Abbot, and 
completely won his esteem and affection. The fact 
that when he was called to the highest dignity upon 
earth he found himself in a very difficult position — 
as he soon saw many reforms were necessary — must 
have been another link between him and the 
widowed Queen, who was beset with difficulties on 
all sides. 

One of Joanna's first actions when she took up 
the reins of government after Louis's death was to 
send her trusty servant Acciajuoli to Messina to 
conclude the war there by making a truce with 
Frederick, after which he was counselled to return 
to Naples with as many troops as he could muster 
to oppose Louis's eldest brother, the Prince of 

212 The Beautiful Queen 

Taranto, who was intriguing to obtain her throne 
for himself. He hoped that he could persuade 
Joanna to allow him to administer her government 
for her ; but she was much too wise to do this, 
foreseeing clearly enough that if she did so she 
would be a Queen in name only, while her ambi- 
tious brother-in-law would be to all intents and 
purposes the ruling monarch ; so she promptly deter- 
mined to nip this project in the bud. 

She called together a council of all her wisest 
men, and absolutely refused to allow the Prince of 
Taranto to have anything whatever to do with the 
government of her kingdom, and the Prince, find- 
ing his efforts were useless, retired in high dudgeon 
to his own estates. This and other similar cir- 
cumstances made it imperative that Joanna should 
marry a third time, and there was no lack of suitors. 
The King of France was very anxious that she 
should choose his son Philip, the Duke of Tours, 
for whom such a marriage would have been most 
advantageous ; but he was ten or twelve years 
younger than Joanna, and she very wisely considered 
that a barrier which could not have been got over 
had there been no other objections to such a match. 
John, the French King, endeavoured to get the 
new Pope Urban V. to support this proposal; but 
Joanna, dreading the difficulties and quarrels in 
which the inexperience and youth of the boyish 
Duke of Tours and the haughtiness of his courtiers 

Joanna's Second Widowhood 213 

would probably involve her, most wisely declined 
the offer. 

One of the handsomest princes at this time 
about the Neapolitan Court was James III. of 
Majorca, a king without a kingdom. Majorca, the 
largest of the Balearic Isles, had been taken from 
the Saracens about the year 1230 by James I., King 
of Aragon, and by him erected into a kingdom ; 
the other Balearic Isles, together with the two 
counties of Roussillon and Moritpellier being de- 
pendent upon it. 

James II. of Aragon in 1295 married an 
Angevine princess, the daughter of Charles II. of 
Anjou, by whom he had two sons, Pedro and 
James. The elder succeeded him as King of 
Aragon under the title of Pedro III., and the 
younger as King of Aragon under the title of 
James I. of Majorca ; they were always at war with 
each other, and left the quarrel as an inheritance 
to their sons, Pedro IV. of Aragon and James II. 
of Majorca. 

In 1349 Pedro IV., surnamed the Ceremonious, 
succeeded in despoiling his brother of the kingdom 
of Majorca, in a battle in which James II., as some 
assert, was killed, and his son James III. was taken 
prisoner. He was in captivity for many years, but 
at last succeeded in effecting his escape, and went 
to Naples, where he was one of the most attractive 
members of that gay court. It was upon him that 

214 The Beautiful Queen 

the choice of Joanna and her council fell as the most 
suitable candidate for her hand. 

The conditions imposed upon the nominal King 
of Majorca were that he should possess of Joanna's 
dominions the Dukedom of Calabria only, and that 
he was not to expect to have any share in the govern- 
ment, nor to assume the title of King, but to wait 
the Queen's pleasure to bestow either of these 
privileges upon him, in case their marriage should 
be blessed with children or even one child to in- 
herit the throne. The fact that Montpellier and 
Roussillon were adjacent to Joanna's Provencal 
possessions made James more acceptable to the 
Queen's advisers, as they were valuable adjuncts 
to her French dominions. 

James raised no objections to the conditions — 
indeed, notwithstanding them, Joanna was the most 
brilliant match he could have found in all Europe — 
and the marriage was duly celebrated with all 
the pomp and magnificence which had graced the 
Queen's former weddings. 

Some writers say that James's father was not 
slain on the battlefield, but was kept a prisoner 
by Pedro, and that three months after his marriage 
James heard his father had been treacherously 
murdered in prison, and that he at once left Naples 
for Spain with all the troops he could muster to 
avenge his father's death. 

However this may be, whether the King was 

Joanna's Second Widowhood 215 

slain in battle or in prison, it is certain that James 
III. set out very shortly after his marriage with 
Joanna to try to recover his kingdom. Joanna 
was not able to render him much assistance in this 
expedition, for she was obliged to send a force to 
defend her Provencal dominions from the inroads 
of the Dukes of Milan and Savoy, who were in 
league together to deprive her of them. The 
prompt measures which Joanna took, and the fidelity 
of her Provencal subjects, soon succeeded in de- 
feating the two Dukes, but her husband was less 
successful in his campaign against the King of 

After three months' wedded happiness Joanna 
was, to all intents and purposes, again a widow, 
at least a grass widow, for her husband was absent 
almost the whole of their married life, and frequently 
she did not know whether he was alive or dead. 
The means of communication were slow and by no 
means sure, and the life of James was fraught 
with so many adventures on the battlefield and 
in captivity that it was exceedingly difficult for the 
Queen to obtain reliable information as to his 

There is a long account of James III. and his 
exploits in Froissart's Chronicles, but his account 
of Joanna has been proved to be so inaccurate that 
it will not do to place too much reliance upon 
his tales of the adventures of her third husband. 

216 The Beautiful Queen 

Of certain facts, however, there seems to be little 
doubt — at any rate, most historians repeat them as 

He appears to have fought for three or four 
years against the King of Aragon quite unsuccess- 
fully, and then to have fled to Bordeaux, where 
the Prince of Wales was then residing, and to 
have joined him. According to Froissart, this was 
in 1367, and he says that while James was 
with the Black Prince in Bordeaux the Princess 
of Wales gave birth to a son, who afterwards 
succeeded to the English throne as Richard II. 
The little Prince was baptized in the church of 
St. Andrew, in Bordeaux, and the King of Majorca 
was one of his god-fathers. Froissart says the 
Prince of Wales received James well and treated 
him handsomely, " for he was a stranger, and far 
from his own country, and his finances were low." 
Edward then joined Peter the Cruel, King of Castile, 
in an expedition in Spain, and he promised to restore 
James to his kingdom if he would accompany him 
on this campaign, which turned out to be a brilliant 
success. In this splendid expedition, in which the 
Black Prince won such great honour, James of 
Majorca fought side by side with him. 

At the end of the campaign the Prince of Wales 
went to Valladolid, or, as Froissart calls it, the 
Vale of Olives, translating the Spanish word ; and 
there the heat was so great that they were all more 

Joanna's Second Widowhood 217 

or less affected by it, and James was so ill that 
when the Prince of Wales moved on he was con- 
fined to his bed, and had to be left behind. The 
Black Prince sent some of his English knights to 
the King of Majorca to tell him his troops were 
suffering so much from the heat that he was obliged 
to leave Spain, and to ask if he wished to go with 

James replied that he was so ill that he could 
not lift his foot to the stirrup ; and on being asked 
if he would like some men-at-arms left behind as 
a guard, he declined, saying it was uncertain how 
long he might be forced to remain there. Peter 
the Cruel turned out a perfidious ally, failing to 
keep all his engagements, and proving himself a 
most ungrateful friend ; for as soon as the English 
army had left all the towns they had reconquered, 
he went back to his brother, Henry of Transtamare, 
who marched to Valladolid, where he heard the 
King of Majorca, his bitter enemy, was lying con- 
fined to his bed, to take advantage of his weakness 
and make him a prisoner. James at once asked 
whether Henry would make him his own prisoner 
or whether he intended to send him to the King 
of Aragon, as he would rather die than fall into 
his hands. 

Henry replied that on no account would he act 
so disloyally as to send him to his greatest enemy, 
but would retain him as his own prisoner until 

2i 8 The Beautiful Queen 

he was either ransomed or it pleased him to set 
him at liberty. James now found means of com- 
municating his plight to Joanna, who, as soon as 
she heard of it, set about raising the money for 
his ransom and finding trusty messengers to nego- 
tiate the business. She succeeded in procuring his 
ransom at an immense cost, which, Froissart says, 
was paid so graciously that the King of Castile 
thanked her for it. 

Directly he was released from his captivity James 
returned to Naples, but he was so bent on revenge 
against the King of Aragon that he only remained 
with Joanna long enough to collect men and arms 
and money sufficient to carry out another campaign, 
which he set out upon much against Joanna's wish — 
if we are to credit Froissart, who says Joanna wished 
and counselled her husband to join his forces with 
her cousin, the King of France, instead of with the 
English under the Prince of Wales. He resisted 
all her arguments and entreaties to remain with her 
in Naples and abandon the hope of recovering his 
own very small kingdom ; but James was obstinate, 
and would not be persuaded, so the Queen yielded 
to his wishes, and gave orders that as he passed 
through Provence the highest honours should be 
paid him, and a sum of 10,000 golden florins given 
him for his expenses, which, seeing that he was 
disregarding her wishes, seems very handsome 

Joanna's Second Widowhood 219 

Before we record the end of his somewhat 
mythical, or at least very uncertain, fortunes, we 
must make mention of a characteristically mediaeval 
incident which occurred to Joanna about this time. 
At a large and, as it was called, " solemn ball," 
which Joanna held at Gaeta, at which she was the 
admired of all eyes, there was present Galeazzo 
of Mantua, one of the most accomplished Italian 
princes of the time, and Joanna chose him as her 
partner in one of the dances. 

Joanna was a beautiful dancer, and Galeazzo also 
excelled in this art ; and at the conclusion of the 
dance he knelt before the majestic Joanna, who 
was now about forty and a magnificent creature, 
and thanked her humbly for the honour she had 
so graciously bestowed upon him in allowing him 
to be her partner, and then and there he made a 
solemn vow that he would not rest until he had 
found and challenged and defeated two valiant 
knights, to give to her as a present. 

Joanna replied, "that in good time, and by the 
grace of God, he should accomplish his vow, since 
such was his pleasure and the custom of knighthood." 

Galeazzo then travelled half over Europe, going 
to France, Spain, Germany, Hungary, and other 
countries where the flower of knighthood was to 
be met — we do not hear that he went to Eng- 
land — and having found two knights worthy of 
his prowess, he challenged, fought, and defeated 

220 The Beautiful Queen 

them, and brought them captive to Naples at the 
end of the year following the solemn ball at Gaeta. 

Arrived at Naples he sought an audience, and 
genuflecting before the Queen, he presented the 
two captive knights to her. Joanna thanked him 
cordially, congratulating him upon having accom- 
plished his vow so gallantly, and then thus ad- 
dressed the knights : 

"Sirs, you are, as you see, my prisoners. By 
the laws of chivalry, I may cause such as are in 
your captive condition to serve me in any ignoble 
office I may best please ; but I think you will judge 
by my countenance that cruelty does not dwell in 
my heart, to dispose of the unfortunate in such a 
manner. Of my clemency then, and humanity, I 
give you from this hour entire liberty and franchise 
to act as you please, whether to return free to your 
own country, or, before you depart, to solace your- 
selves in my kingdom, and view the curiosities of 
it, which are sufficiently admirable. After having 
visited them return to me, and when you choose to 
depart I shall be well pleased to commend you to God." 

We of the twentieth century, whose ideas are so 
different, can hardly imagine such a scene as this 
ever taking place ; but in mediaeval days redeemed 
slaves and prisoners and the vanquished became so 
much the property of their purchasers and con- 
querors that they were frequently disposed of by 
will. A few years later Joanna redeemed a Tartar 

Joanna's Second Widowhood 221 

princess from slavery, and sent her as a present to 
her friend, St. Bridget of Sweden, the widowed 
Princess of Nericia, who was then dying in Rome. 
This extraordinary present arrived just after the 
death of the saint had taken place ; but the captive 
was adopted by Bridget's daughter, St. Catherine, 
who took her to Sweden, where she became a nun in 
the convent of Wadstena, in the Order founded by 
St. Bridget, and died herself in the odour of sanctity. 

Many of these captives and conquered knights 
were less fortunate, and did not meet with such 
clemency as Joanna showed her two prisoners. 
Brantdme records the fate of a vanquished knight, 
whom his conqueror bestowed upon the canons of 
St. Peter's Church in Rome, with his arms, his 
horse, his armour and trappings ; and says that 
they kept the unfortunate man a prisoner in the 
church for the remainder of his life, which he spent 
in walking to and fro, his recreation being to stand 
at the open door, whose threshold he never passed, 
and watch the traffic outside. The laws of chivalry 
were so binding on the honour of all knights that 
this one could not break his parole, but was obliged 
to submit to his sad fate. 

Prisoners of war were treated more or less as 
the personal property of their conquerors, even in 
Christian Europe, until the institution of standing 
armies, when they passed under the care of the 
State to which they belonged. 


The Death of Acciajuoli 

r T~ , HE shadows in Joanna's life were beginning 
-*■ to deepen again ; the prolonged absence of 
the man she had married to guard her fair name 
and be a helpmeet to her was a source of grave 
anxiety and trouble, for she did not know whether 
he was alive or dead, in prison or at large. 

About this time — that is, in the summer of 1367 
— there arrived in Naples the celebrated prophetess 
and mystic, the afterwards canonised Saint Bridget 
of Sweden, with her beautiful young daughter 
Catherine, also a widow, her friend Nicholas Orsini, 
and a small band of Swedish pilgrims in her train. 
The Neapolitan nobility vied with each other in 
their eagerness to show hospitality to the Swedish 
Princess, the fame of whose sanctity and of her 
visions and her prophesies and revelations had 
already reached them, for they were the talk of 

The honour of entertaining so distinguished a 

The Death of Acciajuoli 223 

visitor fell upon Jacqueline nee Acciajuoli, sister to 
Nicholas Acciajuoli, the Grand Seneschal of Naples, 
and wife to the Count Buondelmonte. The 
Countess was a very devout woman, and the simple 
austerity of her menage, together with her high rank 
and the important place she occupied at the 
Neapolitan Court, made her house peculiarly 
agreeable to the Princess of Nericia. From the 
Countess the saint learnt the story of Joanna's life, 
the murder of Andrew and its consequences, her 
second marriage with Louis of Taranto, and her third 
nuptials with the handsome King of Majorca ; she 
heard too of the brilliancy of Joanna's court, of the 
splendour of her banquets, " solemn balls," " Court 
of Love," tournaments, and other entertainments, 
renowned all over Europe for their magnificence ; 
she heard of the envies and jealousies, of the 
quarrels and constant warfare of the royal princes 
of the houses of Durazzo and Taranto, of the 
feuds between the nobles : and, as she had already 
admonished and threatened with divine vengeance 
Magnus II., King of Sweden, and his Queen 
Blanche, of whose gay court she had once 
been Grand Mistress, she now determined to 
try to reform Joanna's court, and preach repent- 
ance to the Queen herself and to all her gay 

St. Bridget was a great reformer, not only of 
monasteries and convents, of monks and nuns, of 

224 The Beautiful Queen 

bishops and clergy, but she had not scrupled to 
remonstrate with the Popes for their residence at 
Avignon, and was at this moment on the verge 
of inducing Urban V. by her counsels to return to 

Joanna, who if she liked gaiety was nevertheless 
a devout and faithful Catholic, was anxious to see 
the mystic, of whom she had heard so much, and 
with whom she had corresponded. The Queen 
had probably read some of St. Bridget's Revelations, 
and soon after the arrival of the Swedish pilgrims 
an audience was arranged. 

The saint, who was of very small stature, and was 
clad in a nunlike costume of coarse serge, with a 
black veil on her head, which hid her still glorious 
golden hair — which is said to have clothed her like 
a mantle when unbound — was presented by the 
Countess Buondelmonte to the majestic Neapolitan 
Queen, who was dressed in her usual magnificent 
style, and was surrounded by a group of admiring 
courtiers equally magnificently attired, many of 
whom were in love with her and all were ready to 
die in her cause. 

St. Bridget then presented her daughter Catherine, 
clad also in the nunlike widow's dress of the period, 
who was herself so beautiful that several Roman 
noblemen had attempted to carry her off by force 
in Rome. But Catherine and Joanna never seem to 
have liked each other, whereas in spite of St. Bridget's 

The Death of Acciajuoli 225 

most severe admonishments, Joanna became greatly 
attached to her, and promised the saint to reform 
her court, and to lead a much stricter life in future. 
A sort of religious revival in Naples seems to have 
been the outcome of this visit of the Swedish saint 
to that city. She became the rage : the Neapolitan 
nobles willingly left their palaces to stand with the 
poor and infirm who besieged the Buondelmonte 
mansion, to wait their turn for an interview with the 
prophetess. They and their wives and daughters 
took to visiting the poor and the hospitals and 
tending the sick as Bridget and Catherine were wont 
to do in Rome ; the reported miracles wrought by 
St. Bridget in healing the sick created a great 
sensation ; the churches were crowded. In short, 
Naples went from one extreme to the other, from 
the extreme of gaiety to the opposite pole of 
devotion, and, as might have been expected, after 
the departure of the saint relapsed into its former 
normal condition. 

But before the Swedish pilgrims quitted Naples 
St. Bridget established her claims to the gift of 
prophecy in a remarkable manner. 

She was sitting with Jacqueline Acciajuoli one day, 
when she suddenly told her that the days of her 
brother Nicholas, the Grand Seneschal of the king- 
dom, were already numbered, and his death imminent. 
Greatly shocked, Jacqueline, who was devoted to her 
brother, at once went in search of him, and found 


226 The Beautiful Queen 

him with the Queen, treating with her concerning 
the ransom of her husband the King of Majorca, 
then in captivity in Spain. Nicholas was apparently 
in excellent health ; he was only about fifty-six, and 
a strong man, but that very night he was taken 
suddenly and seriously ill. St. Bridget was sent for, 
and watched and prayed at his bedside, where she 
fell into one of her ecstasies, and received one of the 
revelations for which she was so famous, which 
she afterwards wrote down and gave to her confessor 
to translate into Latin. 

The Grand Seneschal died in her presence after 
receiving the Last Sacraments, her exhortations and 
prayers having moved him to deep repentance for 
the sins of his past life. His death took place on 
October 25th, 1367, a few days after St. Bridget 
had prophesied that it was imminent. 

He was buried in the magnificent Carthusian 
monastery near Florence, which he had built, and 
to which he had already sent a library of very 
valuable manuscripts, having hoped soon to retire 
from office and end his days in peace and retirement 
there. The cause of his death is described as the 
bursting of an abscess in his head, but the vague 
and scanty medical knowledge of the times cannot 
be relied upon for a right diagnosis of his somewhat 
mysterious end. Perhaps it was an attack of menin- 
gitis. His death was a most serious loss to the 
Queen, for he was one of her most faithful coun- 

From an engraving by B. Holl, after an original painting. 

Queen of Naples. 

p. 2261 

The Death of Acciajuoli 227 

sellors and servants, and one of the most distinguished 
men living during her reign. He was also a very 
devout man, most charitable and generous to the 

On one occasion he quarrelled with John Barrili, 
also a very able man, a poet and a great favourite 
of the late King Robert, who chose him as his 
proxy on the occasion of the crowning of Petrarch 
with laurel in the Capitol. Petrarch heard of this 
quarrel from the Bishop of Florence, on the occasion 
already mentioned on which he dined with the poet. 
" I am grieved at this quarrel ; you are the friend of 
both, and should make it up between them," said 
the Bishop. 

Petrarch undertook the task of reconciliation, and 
set about it in a somewhat elaborate fashion, though 
one that was highly characteristic of him. He wrote 
three long letters — a private one for each of the 
offended friends, and one to both united to be 
opened only by the two together and read. All 
three letters urged the strongest reasons for their 
reconciliation, and he ended the private epistles by 
hoping that they would give a whole day to the 
reading of the third letter. This happened many 
years before the Grand Seneschal's death, for they 
were dated May 24th, 1352. The Bishop undertook 
to deliver the letters, and some months afterwards he 
wrote to Petrarch to tell him his letters had had the 
desired effect, and a reconciliation had taken place. 

228 The Beautiful Queen 

Acciajuoli left four sons by his wife Margareta, 
besides two adopted children. 

Soon after Acciajuoli's death King John of France, 
having failed to secure Joanna's hand for his son, 
made an attempt to take Provence from her by 
force ; but her wisdom and tact again stood her in 
good stead, and the Pope supported her so zealously 
and her Provencal subjects showed such fidelity to 
her, that the Duke of Anjou, who had based his 
claims on some rights which he supposed had 
accrued to him through the ancient Kings of Aries, 
was defeated at the end of six months, although 
during this time he had offered the largest bribes 
to the Provencal barons to tempt them and corrupt 
their allegiance to Joanna. One of these barons, 
Rainier of Grimaldis, Prince of Morguez, behaved 
with great loyalty to Joanna ; she had given him 
a present of 4,000 florins for recapturing Tarascon 
for her. The Duke of Anjou offered to give 
Grimaldis the same sum annually if he would go 
over to the French side, but he refused with scorn 
to consider such treachery to his Queen. 

Even at Avignon the influence of the Anglo- 
French war was felt, and the policy of John of 
France was galling to the French Pope. Urban V. 
now made a league with the King of Hungary, 
Joanna, and others against the Viscontis, who had 
for years been in rebellion against the Holy See. 
Barnabas Visconti, who was renowned for his cruelty 

The Death of Acciajuoli 229 

and the exorbitant demands he made upon the Pope, 
when he heard of this league, said, "They are all 
children ; I will have them all whipped." 

Ambrose Visconti this same year entered Naples 
with what was then considered an enormous force 
of 1,200 lancers, each of whom had a number of 
followers who were not counted in estimating the 
size of Visconti's army. They seized on a portion 
of the Abruzzi, and robbed and plundered the in- 
habitants without mercy. 

Joanna sent only a small force at first against 
Ambrose (who was called the Bastard of Milan), 
under Giovanni Malateca ; but finding this was 
insufficient, she summoned all the veterans who 
had formerly served under her late husband, Louis 
of Taranto, and riding out to meet them addressed 
an eloquent speech to them, exhorting them to do 
their utmost to deliver their country as speedily as 
possible from these cruel barbarians who were killing 
their countrymen and ruining the land by their 

She then wrote to the chief barons in her kingdom 
to the same effect, and so successfully that in a 
few months the Milanese army was cut up, only 
between two and three thousand of Visconti's men 
escaping from the country ; while Ambrose Visconti 
himself was taken prisoner, and confined in one of 
the Neapolitan castles, Castel Nuovo, for ten years. 
Some writers have blamed Joanna for treating this 

230 The Beautiful Queen 

enemy with too great severity, but he was such a 
dangerous, turbulent man that he was better in cap- 
tivity than free. 

Urban V. now issued a Bull of Excommunication 
against the Visconti, and sent two legates with it 
to Galeazzo Visconti ; but he not only paid no atten- 
tion to this sentence, but forced the two legates to 
eat in his presence the parchment on which the 
Bull was written, and also the seals, which are said 
to have been leaden, and the cords. 

It seems that about this same year, 1367, Joanna 
heard of the death of her husband, James of Majorca; 
but according to Mr. Baddeley, who has written 
a most scholarly essay on the Life and Times of 
Joanna, 1 his death occurred much later than this. 
This writer says that James's death took place at 
Soria, in a Franciscan monastery there, in the year 


Caraccioli puts his death at 1368, and Froissart 

says it took place at sea on his voyage home from 

Spain to Naples about 1376. Whether alive or 

dead he was dead to Joanna from the time he left 

her after she had ransomed him, and for many 

years she was unaware of his fate, which was a 

cause of great anxiety to her. From 1367 reports 

were coming constandy to Naples that he was dead, 

and they did Joanna much harm in many ways. 

1 " Queen Joanna I., An Essay on her Times," by St. Clair 
Baddeley. London, 1893. 

The Death of Acciajuoli 231 

Those pests the freebooters no sooner heard that 
she was again a widow than some of their com- 
panies, of which Ambrose Visconti's was one, laid 
plans for the invasion of Naples ; but after he was 
taken prisoner Joanna enjoyed a period of com- 
parative rest and peace, during a reign which has 
been described as one long effort to keep her 

Her wisdom and prudence, however, succeeded 
in suppressing brigandage and robbery till the caves 
of Calabria were as safe, we are told, as her own 
palace. To accomplish this she had to exercise 
severity, and a royal edict was passed ordering that 
when a band of brigands or marauders was taken, 
who had been strong enough to fortify themselves 
in any castle, they were to be publicly executed 
as criminals, and this had a salutary effect, which 
Boccaccio thus describes : 

" The rich man as well as the poor could traverse 
by night or day with perfect security not only towns 
and villages, but also the wildest forests, mountains, 
or caverns, and this the predecessors of Joanna were 
either not willing or not able to accomplish. And 
what is not less salutary, by the modesty of her own 
manners she has reformed the licentiousness of her 
nobility, and so curbed their pride that those who 
formerly paid little regard to their kings, to-day 
dread the frown of an offended woman." 

Robbery was the most prominent vice of Europe 

232 The Beautiful Queen 

at this time, and it existed in greater excess in many 
parts of Italy than elsewhere ; even in the time of 
the good King Robert, Naples was notorious for 
its thieves. So little was then thought of it that 
what was called " living by the saddle " was quite 
a gentlemanly profession in most European countries. 
Joanna did completely away with this reproach as 
far as Naples was concerned, and did all she could 
to help and civilise (her people by encouraging 
commerce. To this end she built four streets to 
accommodate the inhabitants of the four nations 
who traded most with the capital, namely, the Pro- 
vencals, the Spaniards, the Venetians,, and the 

Naples under Joanna's rule became the favourite 
port of traders, partly for the security of the roads, 
partly for the exemption from all taxation and from 
any forced loans, which in no emergencies would 
she ever suffer to be levied. The city was supplied 
not only with all the necessaries of life, but also 
with luxuries from foreign countries, for Joanna 
was a liberal patroness of every kind of art. In 
a catalogue of the furniture, etcetera, of Fonthill 
Abbey there is mentioned a magnificent Oriental 
china vase, the earliest specimen of its kind known 
in Europe, which once belonged to Joanna, whose 
arms are engraved upon it. 

She took pride in making her court as celebrated 
as King Robert's had been for learned and scientific 

The Death of Acciajuoli 233 

men, whom she freely admitted to her society in 
private life as well as at court. Boccaccio, who 
after Petrarch was the most celebrated of her con- 
temporaries in literature, says, " She was so gracious, 
gentle, compassionate, and kind that she seemed 
rather the companion than the Queen of those 
around her." 

In those days theology ranked first of all studies, 
but after that law was the most esteemed in Joanna's 
court, for her first care was to protect the poor 
against the rich, the weak against the strong ; and 
for this purpose she consulted the most eminent 
barristers and lawyers the University of Naples 
could supply. There were three most famous juris- 
consults whom Joanna commanded in an edict, 
using the language of her period, should be revered 
in her dominions " as a human Trinity when in- 
terpreting the laws." These three were Luke of 
Penna, Andrew of Isernia, and Nicholas of Naples, 
all very famous men. After the death of Andrew 
of Isernia, Joanna in all difficult questions used to 
apply to the most celebrated foreign legal authori- 
ties for advice. Baldus of Perugia and Angelus of 
the same city, on whom the most extravagant terms 
of praise were lavished, were two of these, and 
both were enthusiastic admirers of the Queen of 
Sicily, not only as a wise sovereign and legislatrix, 
but also as a beautiful woman and a most charming 

234 The Beautiful Queen 

Astrology was in the Middle Ages studied with 
astronomy, and at Naples there was a chair of 
astrology at the University, as well as for other 
sciences. Much faith was placed in casting of 
horoscopes and the observation of the stars, which 
were supposed to foretell the destinies of men and 
women. Diseases were also believed to be in- 
fluenced by the celestial bodies, and in consequence 
physicians were generally astrologers, but the mass 
of the medical profession in those days were what 
we a century ago should have called quacks. 
Petrarch had very little faith in the prescriptions 
of the doctors of his time. He says, "The 
moment I see a physician I know beforehand what 
he will say to me, ' Eat young poultry, drink warm 
water, use the remedy the stork has taught us.' " 

They might and did give worse advice than to 
eat young poultry and to drink warm water, but 
what the cryptic allusion to the teaching of the 
stork may mean we do not know, and perhaps we 
had better not inquire. Two lessons taught by 
the stork certainly might be followed with advan- 
tage — to be good mothers, and to take care of our 
parents in their old age. Fruit was a prohibited 
article of diet in sickness in the Middle Ages, but 
Petrarch struck at this medical advice, and laments 
that physicians seemed to regard it as equally 
poisonous with henbane and aconite. 

Watches and clocks were in use at this period, 

The Death of Acciajuoli 235 

but the pendulum was not invented until the time 
of Galileo ; until then it was the dial which revolved. 
Spectacles were also in common use. One of the 
most celebrated inventions of Joanna's reign is said 
to have been the mariner's compass ; the first that 
was constructed in Europe was made by Gioja 
Flavio, a mathematician of Amain, near Naples ; 
but the idea is believed to have been brought from 
China by Marco Polo in the thirteenth century, 
and the Chinese had probably understood the use 
of it for two thousand years before. Flavio's com- 
pass had eight points only, and the arms of the 
district in which he was born bear a compass with 
eight points in memory of him. 

The most celebrated theologian in Joanna's king- 
dom was Paris of Pozzuoli, who has left a most 
enthusiastic panegyric upon Joanna behind him ; 
but perhaps if the Queen of Naples had been con- 
sulted she would have desired no higher compli- 
ment than to be called, as she so emphatically is, 
" the friend of Petrarch and Boccaccio," and equally 
the friend of two Popes, Clement VI. and Urban V. 

Urban V- returns to Rome 

WE now come to the most important con- 
temporary event of Joanna's reign, for it 
affected all Christendom — the return of the Pope to 
Rome. Urban V. had always regarded his residence 
at Avignon as only a temporary measure ; the 
interests of the Church, the exhortations of St. 
Bridget, the terrible state of Rome during the 
absence of the Supreme Pontiff, the prayers 
and wishes of all his Italian subjects, all com- 
bined to induce him to make up his mind in the 
beginning of the year 1367 to leave Avignon for 

He was vehemently opposed in this way by all 
the French Cardinals, who formed the majority of 
the Sacred College, for they were unwilling to leave 
their magnificent residences on the banks of the 
Rhone, and the luxurious and brilliant life at the 


Urban V. returns to Rome 237 

It is said that Urban's mother, who lived with 
him at Avignon was so concerned at his deter- 
mination to depart from thence that she threw 
herself on the ground at his feet, and declared 
that he should not leave the Papal palace unless 
he trod over her body. But Urban, when once 
he felt it his duty to return to Rome, suffered no 
obstacle to stand in his way, not even his mother's 
dramatic opposition ; and quoting the text, "he shall 
tread on the asp and the basilisk," he passed on, 
leaving the asp or the basilisk to rise from her lowly 

The first stage of his journey was Marseilles. Here 
the galleys which he had commanded Joanna, and 
the Genoese, and the Venetians to provide for him 
met him ; and the French Cardinals are said to have 
vented their grief at leaving France in loud cries 
and lamentations, and their anger in opprobrious 
language to the venerable Pontiff, who paid no 
attention, but calmly ordered the sailors to set sail 
for Genoa, where they met with a splendid reception 
from all the princes and ambassadors, who were 
assembled on the shore and knelt to receive the 
Papal benediction. 

Here under the blue Italian sky, on an improvised 
altar, Urban celebrated his first Mass in Italy, in the 
presence of an enormous crowd of people. At its 
Papal Court at Avignon, for the unhealthy palace 
in the squalid and disorderly streets of Rome. 

238 The Beautiful Queen 

conclusion he proceeded on his journey to Rome, 
and, after some opposition at Viterbo, he reached the 
Eternal City on October 16th. 

At his entry into Rome, more than two thousand 
bishops, abbots, and priors accompanied him ; his 
white courser was led by Italian princes, while 
eleven French cardinals followed, resigned and 
melancholy, in his train. The bells of the city rang 
joyously, the great doors of St. Peter's were thrown 
open, cries of " Evviva il Papa ! " rent the air, and 
then the Holy Father gave the blessing " Urbi 
et Orbi " from the balcony over the Golden Door. 

For over a year Urban resided in Rome, the 
object of the greatest veneration in his spiritual 
capacity, for which his personal sanctity so well 
fitted him ; but in his temporal office as Sovereign of 
the city of Rome and of the Papal States he met 
with obstinate and insolent disobedience. During 
his residence in Rome, at the beginning of Lent, 
1368, Joanna went to Rome to visit the Pope. 
She went partly from a pious desire to pay her 
homage to the Holy Father in his capital, partly 
to confer with him as her best friend and most 
competent adviser, on the subject of her successor. 
Her sister Maria, who, although now the wife of 
Philip of Taranto, retained, as she was entitled to 
do, her higher title of Duchess of Durazzo, died 
about this time ; and, as Joanna had no children, 
Maria, according to the will of their grandfather, 

Urban V. returns to Rome 239 

the late King Robert, was the heiress to her sister's 
throne. It is true that the Duchess of Durazzo 
had three daughters ; but by the custom and law 
of the age, they had no right to a throne which 
their mother had never actually possessed. 

There now remained no descendants in the main 
line of Charles of Anjou except Louis of Hungary 
and Charles of Durazzo, son of Louis, Count of 
Gravina, of whose education, as we have said before, 
Joanna had taken charge. She had been a mother 
to this young Prince, who turned out so ungrateful, 
and as soon as he attained his majority he accepted 
an invitation from Joanna's greatest enemy, Louis, 
King of Hungary, to fight with him against the 
Venetians, with whom he was now at war. Joanna 
disapproved of this most strongly ; but Charles 
disregarded her wishes, and this fact made her 
hesitate to adopt him as her heir, for she knew 
Louis hated her, and would probably poison her 
nephew's mind against her. 

We can imagine how deeply this conduct of 
Charles must have wounded Joanna, for there are 
few things more galling than when those we have 
believed to be our friends become intimate with our 
enemies ; and Joanna had been far more than a 
friend to Charles of Durazzo. She had been his 
benefactress and a foster-mother to him who now 
behaved in this mean and ungrateful way to her — 
which, indeed, was but a prelude to the lower 

240 The Beautiful Queen 

depths of treachery and baseness to which he 
afterwards sank. 

Joanna made the journey as far as Ostia by sea, 
and the remainder of the way by land, sometimes 
riding on horseback, sometimes being carried in a 
litter, but with great pomp and attended by a mag- 
nificent train of knights and followers. This visit, 
which brought her so much honour, was perhaps 
the happiest period of her life ; she had left her 
kingdom at peace and in a prosperous condition, 
owing to her wise government, so she had no 
anxiety about that in the background to mar her 
delight in the spiritual and artistic treasures of 

Peter of Lusignan, King of Cyprus, met her at 
a little distance from the gates of the city, and 
conducted her under a rich canopy of state to the 
Porta S. Pietro. Here she was met by the 
cardinals, clergy, and principal nobles of Rome, who 
were waiting to receive her and attend her to the 
steps of St. Peter's Church. Urban V. in full 
pontificals was waiting here, and as she approached, 
he, wishing to confer a very great mark of honour 
upon her, descended some of the steps to meet this 
majestic Queen and woman. 

Joanna dismounted from her horse, and made the 
three customary genuflections to the Holy Father, 
who raised her from her knees and led her into 
the church, up the nave to the tombs of the holy 

Urban V. returns to Rome 241 

apostles Peter and Paul, to pay her devotions at 
their shrine. An enormous crowd had been assem- 
bled outside the church in the Piazza to watch 
her arrival, and some of the people followed the 
procession into the church on this unique occasion. 

Urban V. was a greater friend to Joanna than 
his predecessor Clement VI. had been ; and since 
he became a canonised saint of the church, and 
during his lifetime was noted for his holiness, this 
friendship and respect, this affection and esteem of 
the Sovereign Pontiff, should have silenced the lips 
of all her detractors ; for we may be sure that had 
there been truth in their vile reports, Urban V. 
would never have countenanced her, far less would 
he have demonstrated his regard for her in the 
public way he did. During her stay in Rome he 
showed her every public mark of honour it was in 
his power to bestow. 

For the second time in her life Joanna, on Letare 
Sunday, received the Golden Rose — this time from 
Urban V. after he had blessed it and worn it during 
Mass. To the surprise of all present, the Pope, 
at the conclusion of High Mass, turned to the 
Queen of Naples, who was near him, and presented 
her with this coveted honour. It is said that the 
Cardinals afterwards remonstrated with him because 
he had preferred Joanna to the King of Cyprus, 
who was also present, and objected that she was the 
first woman who had ever received this favour. 


242 The Beautiful Queen 

Urban is reported to have replied in a severe 
tone, which did not encourage any more remon- 
strance on the part of the Cardinals : " There were 
exceptions to all rules, and who had ever before 
heard of a poor Abbot of St. Victor at Marseilles 
being Pope ? " 

On Easter Sunday Urban lavished yet a greater 
favour upon Joanna. He presented her with the 
blessed hat and sword, but she, with her customary 
tact and grace, noticing the deep mortification of 
the King of Cyprus, asked the Pope to bestow the 
sword upon him, and Urban consenting, she gave 
it to Peter of Lusignan with her own fair hands, 
thus enhancing the gift, and retained for herself the 
pearl-embroidered hat. 

Joanna remained in Rome until after the Easter 
ceremonies were over, and in the meantime, in the 
course of her interviews with Urban, had come to 
the decision that the best way out of the difficult 
question of the succession to her throne would be 
to arrange a marriage between her adopted daughter 
Margaret, her sister Maria's youngest child, and 
Charles Durazzo, and then, if she found on his 
return from Louis of Hungary that he was still 
loyal to her, to leave the crown to him and 

The two elder daughters of Maria were already 
married — Joanna, the Duchess of Durazzo, to 
Robert of Artois, and Agnes to Can della Scala, 

Urban V. returns to Rome 243 

Prince of Verona ; and the Queen knew that to leave 
her crown to either of them so long as Charles 
Durazzo lived would be to leave them and her 
kingdom an inheritance of civil war, so she asked 
Urban for a dispensation to enable her adopted 
daughter, Margaret, to marry her cousin, Charles 

On leaving Rome she did not return to Naples 
at once, but went to Provence and worked there 
on reforming the laws of that country and Piedmont, 
and as soon as this was accomplished went back 
to her capital and celebrated with befitting pomp 
the marriage of her adopted daughter and Charles 
Durazzo. Joanna was strongly attached to her 
nephew, who was, externally at least, a very attractive 
man, with winning manners which effectually con- 
cealed his falseness and cruelty. He was a fine 
soldier, brave to rashness, and though of small 
stature he had defeated in single combat soon after 
he went to Hungary a gigantic Hungarian knight 
whom no other man had dared to challenge, and 
from that time he bore the head of an elephant 
as his crest, because that had formerly belonged 
to his vanquished foe. 

Charles was very generous, especially to men of 
letters whom he patronised, and his conduct at 
this time was so irreproachable that Joanna un- 
fortunately was deceived by it ; and after his 
marriage with Margaret she issued a proclamation 

244 The Beautiful Queen 

of her intention of bequeathing her crown to the 
newly married Prince and Princess, and to their 
issue. What must have been her feelings when 
very soon after this Charles returned to the service 
of the King of Hungary, on whose support he 
calculated should Joanna change her intentions with 
regard to her heirs ? 

Meanwhile Urban V. was finding the turbulent 
state of Rome and the deleterious effect of the 
unhealthy climate upon his health so unbearable 
that he resolved to return to Avignon, a measure 
which the Italian Cardinals opposed as strongly as 
the French had objected to his leaving it. The 
Pope again applied to the Queen of Naples to 
furnish him with galleys for the voyage, which 
she willingly supplied. 

St. Bridget of Sweden, hearing of the Pope's 
intention of returning to France, demanded an 
audience, and informed the venerable Pontiff that 
it had been revealed to her by Our Lady that if 
he returned to Avignon he would die very shortly 

Urban paid no attention to this prophecy ; 
having made up his mind that he was acting for 
the best in removing the Papal Court back to 
Avignon, he was not to be deterred from carrying 
out his intention by what he considered might 
possibly be a delusion on the Swedish mystic's 
part. However that may be, it is certain that 


p. 244] 

Urban V. returns to Rome 245 

he lived only a few months after his return to 

When he felt his end approaching he ordered the 
doors of his palace to be thrown open that all might 
see him die as he lay, in his Benedictine habit which 
he always wore, stretched on a wretched low bed 
with his crucifix in his feeble hands, making acts 
of humble contrition for all the sins of his past life. 
His death took place on December 19th, 1370. 
He was very infirm when St. Bridget uttered her 
prophecy, but he died of some unknown malady. 
He was deeply regretted by the Italians as well 
as by the French. 

No less than eight hundred princes and nobles 
attended the Requiem sung at Bologna for his soul, 
and he was invoked as a saint immediately after it 
was celebrated, before his cause of canonisation began. 

All the sovereigns of Europe, from Magnus II. 
of Sweden and Waldemar of Denmark in the north 
to Joanna in the south, demanded his canonisation, 
and his cause was greatly helped by the numerous 
miracles attributed to him, in an age when more 
faith was placed in miracles than in our sceptical 
time, and by his great sanctity, for he is said even 
by Protestant historians to have been a model of 
virtue. He made several greatly needed reforms 
in the Church, among them a very wise and im- 
portant one forbidding the Cardinals to use their 
houses as sanctuaries for criminals. 

246 The Beautiful Queen 

By the death of Urban Joanna lost her best and 
most powerful friend, although the consequences to 
her of this irreparable loss were not felt immediately. 
The conclave to elect his successor was held at 
Avignon, and the choice fell upon Pierre Roger de 
Beaufort, the last of the French Popes, a nephew 
of Clement VI. He took the title of Gregory XI. 

Shortly after his accession Joanna succeeded in 
putting an end to the strife which had disturbed 
the Two Sicilies ever since the fatal day of the 
massacre known as the Sicilian Vespers. A treaty 
was entered into between her confessor the Bishop 
of Gravina on the one hand, and the first chaplain 
of Frederick of Aragon, then King of Sicily, on the 
other side, by which the latter consented to acknow- 
ledge Joanna as Queen of the Two Sicilies, and to 
pay her a yearly tribute of three thousand ounces of 
gold, on condition that she left him in peaceable 
possession of the island. Frederick was also bound 
to furnish Joanna whenever she required them with 
ten galleys and a hundred men-at-arms. He was 
also required to resign the title of King of Sicily, 
and to take that of King of Trinacria instead. A 
marriage was also arranged between him and Maria, 
daughter of the Duke of Andria and of Joanna's 
sister-in-law, Margaret of Taranto. 

Thus ended the long struggle for independence of 
the Island of Sicily, which now again acknowledged 
an Angevine sovereign, Queen Joanna. 

Joanna and Charles of Sweden 

JOANNA had now reached the summit of her 
greatness ; from henceforth her history grows 
more and more sad and troubled, culminating in 
the final tragedy at Mora. But before we treat of 
a romantic episode which intervened before these 
shadows deepened, it may be as well to pause here 
to relate some incidents in the lives of Petrarch and 
Boccaccio, who were such conspicuous members of 
her court, and such enthusiastic admirers and 
champions of the " Jewel of Italy " as to fall 
naturally into the tale of her life. Boccaccio's re- 
lations with Joanna's aunt, the Princess Maria of 
Sicily, have already been mentioned. To her in- 
fluence the world owes the immortal work, " The 
Decameron." It was at her command that he wrote 
the hundred short novels or tales it contains. For the 
most part they are most licentious ; and the strongest 

evidence of the kind of intimacy which existed 


24 8 The Beautiful Queen 

between the author and this beautiful princess is 
afforded by the loose and immoral character of 
a book of which Boccaccio was himself in later 
years so ashamed that he wrote to a friend to 
beg him not to permit his wife and daughter to 
read it. 

He began to write this masterpiece of Italian 
prose at Naples, and finished it at Florence during 
the visitation of the Great Plague in 1348. Its 
publication was an epoch-making era in the history 
of Italian prose, whose standard it fixed from that 
day to this. The French critic Guinguene (1748- 
18 16) says that "The Decameron," though less 
serious than the " Divina Commedia " of Dante, and 
less polished than the verses of Petrarch, has done 
much more to fix the Italian language. The writers 
of the sixteenth century speak of it with an en- 
thusiasm which is almost religious. It is also a 
mirror of the manners and customs of the author's 
age. It opens with a most vivid description of 
the Plague, and the plan adopted is a hundred 
tales related by seven ladies and three gentlemen 
who make a villeggiatura from Florence to escape 
that dread scourge. 

It is thought that the author owed, in a great 
measure, the beauty of his style to his association 
with Joanna for so many years, for her eloquence 
and the ease with which she spoke both Italian and 
the Provencal language were a liberal education, 

Joanna and Charles of Sweden 249 

and the Princess Maria was also famed for her 
manners and conversation as well as for her wit. 

In 1 36 1, when Boccaccio was living at Florence, 
he was visited one day by a Carthusian friar, who 
asked to see him in private, and then told him he 
had a message for him from a member of his 
Order lately dead in the odour of sanctity, named 
Father Petroni, who had died in May, 1361, in 
a rapture. The name of Boccaccio's visitor was 
Father Joachim Ciani, and he informed him that 
Father Petroni had begged him on his deathbed to 
seek the author of "The Decameron," and warn him 
that unless he reformed his life and his licentious 
writings, of which he ought to be ashamed, he 
would die very shortly, and suffer eternal punish- 
ment for his sins. 

Father Petroni also made several prophecies con- 
cerning other persons, among whom was Petrarch. 
Boccaccio asked Ciani how Father Petroni, who had 
never seen him or Petrarch, could know anything 
about them, and Ciani replied that not long before 
his death he had had a vision, in which many things 
had been revealed to him ; and to prove the truth 
of what he said, he communicated to Boccaccio some- 
thing concerning himself, a secret which he believed 
no one knew but himself. This made such an 
impression upon Boccaccio, who was terrified 
by the prospect of an early death and a life of 
eternal misery, that he was converted there and 

250 The Beautiful Queen 

then, resolved to reform his manner of life, to 
renounce love and poetry, and even to part with 
his library, which at that time contained little but 
profane literature — which expression then meant 
the classic Greek and Latin writers. Not content 
with this change of life, which he faithfully carried 
out, he gave himself up to the study of theology, 
and was ordained priest after receiving the minor 

He then wrote to Petrarch and told him of the 
visit he had received, and of his resolutions, and 
asked him to accept his library in discharge of some 
debts he owed the poet. Petrarch was not so 
persuaded of the truth of Father Petroni's warnings 
as Boccaccio had been, and endeavoured to dissuade 
his friend from abandoning literature and parting 
with his library, and concluded by offering Boccaccio 
a home in exchange for his books, which he declared 
he would not except on any other terms. 

Petrarch also urged that to deprive a man of 
Boccaccio's age of his books entirely, when he had 
cultivated letters so successfully hitherto, was to 
deprive him of what would be a great solace in his 
old age, and he asked him how St. Jerome would 
have been able to combat heresy as he did if he had 
had no books to help him. 

Boccaccio declined Petrarch's offer to live with 
him, but he kept his books, and added the study of 
theology to his other knowledge, and soon became a 

Joanna and Charles of Sweden 251 

noted priest, and was entrusted with an important 
mission by the Bishop of Florence. 

Soon after he became a priest, Nicholas Acciajuoli 
invited him to Naples, and for a time they lived 
together in a palace at Amain ; but they did not get 
on very well, as Acciajuoli now ranked among the 
highest princes, and apparently gave himself airs 
to one who had been his own familiar friend. He 
also after a while treated Boccaccio shamefully, in 
the hope of getting rid of him, and put him into a 
mean lodging, badly furnished, and sent his menials, 
his cooks, lackeys, and even his mule-drivers and 
scullions to take their meals at the same table. 
Boccaccio soon had enough of this kind of thing, 
and left Amain and went to the north of Italy, to 
stay with Petrarch in Padua for three months. 

He then went to Certaldo, which was the birth- 
place of his father, and after spending some time 
there returned to Naples, where he met with such 
a warm reception from Joanna that her courtiers all 
vied with each other in doing him honour. But 
though the Queen made him the most liberal offers 
to remain attached to her court at Naples for the 
rest of his life, he decided to return after a time 
to Certaldo, where he was seized with the first 
dangerous illness he had ever known, which ruined 
his strong constitution, and he never wholly re- 
covered from the effects of it. 

In October 1373, he began a course of lectures 

252 The Beautiful Queen 

in the Church of St. Lawrence at Certaldo, on the 
"Divina Commedia." The commentary he then wrote 
on the first seven cantos makes two thick volumes, 
and his enemies said he tried to display his own 
knowledge rather than to explain Dante's immortal 

In July, 1374, Petrarch died at Arqua, of a 
fit of apoplexy, and Boccaccio thus lost his greatest 
and best friend, whom he only survived for eighteen 
months. His lectures and the labour they involved 
proved too much for his enfeebled strength, and 
on December 21st, 1375, he died at Certaldo. By 
their deaths Joanna lost the two greatest ornaments 
of her court, and two of her staunchest friends and 
admirers, both of whom, as has appeared above, have 
left their tribute of praise to the unfortunate and 
beautiful Queen of the Two Sicilies. 

About a year after the accession of Pope 
Gregory XI. there occurred one of the most romantic 
and dramatic incidents in Joanna's life — which was 
certainly not wanting in either of these elements. 
It was connected with the second visit of St. Bridget 
of Sweden to the Neapolitan court, which she made 
in 1 37 1, on her way to the Holy Land, whither 
she, with her daughter Catherine and her two eldest 
sons, Charles, Prince of Nericia, and Birger, two 
young men of very different disposition and char- 

Charles was a fine, handsome man, a brave soldier, 

Joanna and Charles of Sweden 253 

but of passionate, even violent nature, and yet he 
had great charm of manner, and was very much 
liked and admired. His father, who had been very 
proud of his eldest son and his achievements in the 
hunting-field as well as on the field of battle, had 
spoiled him, and he had given his mother a great 
deal of anxiety all through his life. She had great 
influence over him, and could to some extent curb 
his impetuous temper and love of the world, and 
by her early training had fostered the religious side 
of his character — which was by no means a negligible 
quantity, for if he had strong passions, he had also 
very strong faith in all the doctrines of the Catholic 

Birger, on the other hand, had never given his 
mother a moment's anxiety in his life : he was a 
very pious, devout man, of a studious disposition, 
very retiring, caring nothing for worldly pleasures ; 
he had neither Charles's personal beauty, nor his 
power of attracting affection and admiration, and 
led a lonely life, occupying himself with works of 
charity and study. 

These two brothers arrived in Rome in the 
autumn of 137 1, in order to accompany their 
mother on her pilgrimage to the Holy Land, on 
which she was about to start. As the boat which 
was to convey the pilgrims to Naples left the 
harbour, St. Bridget turned to Father Peter of 
Alvastra, her confessor, and said, as she looked at 

254 The Beautiful Queen 

the party, " We shall all return safely except the 
one I love best" — a prophecy destined to be ful- 

Joanna had just returned from Avignon, where 
she had had a most cordial reception from the new 
Pope Gregory XI., when St. Bridget and the other 
Scandinavian pilgrims reached Naples. The Nea- 
politan nobility again hastened to offer their princely 
hospitality to the Swedish mystic and her companions ; 
but this time St. Bridget preferred a quieter residence, 
seeing that she was a pilgrim, so they went to the 
Hospice of Santa Maria dell' Avvocata, which ad- 
joined the monastery of the Brothers Hospitaliers 
of St. John. 

One of St. Bridget's first acts after her arrival in 
Naples was to ask for an audience of the Queen, her 
friend, and Joanna graciously accorded her one 

She was apparently at the time staying in the 
Castel del Ovo, as it was there that the dramatic 
scene we are about to describe took place. She 
received the Swedish pilgrims at a solemn audience, 
with all the honours due to the high rank of the 
Princess of Nericia and her sons. 

Joanna was now about forty-three, and her majestic 
beauty was by no means impaired, but had rather 
gained in dignity, by all the sorrows she had ex- 
perienced. It was seen to the very best advantage, 
as she was magnificently attired; her golden hair 

Joanna and Charles of Sweden 255 

was worn brushed back, showing her fine fore- 
head, which was one of her best features, and was 
crowned on this occasion with a diadem of pearls 
on black velvet, which seems to have been especially 
becoming. There was a tender look in her great 
dark eyes, and the sweetest of smiles, for which 
she was famous, played round her lips, as she 
stood to receive her distinguished guests, towering 
over all her ladies-in-waiting, many of whom 
were remarkable also for their beauty, and sur- 
rounded by her courtiers and knights, among 
whom the chief gentleman-in-waiting was one Lan- 
dolpho Crispano ; some of the royal princes were 
also present. 

St. Bridget advanced first to kiss the Queen's 
hand, and then turned to present her two sons. 
Birger knelt at the Queen's feet, according to the 
etiquette of the court ; but Charles was so enchanted 
by the vision of grace Joanna presented to his 
gaze, that he forget everything except Joanna's 
beauty, and pressing impulsively forward he seized 
the Queen in his arms and kissed her on the lips. 

The hot blood of the Neapolitan princes and 
gentlemen-in-waiting was raised to boiling point at 
this unseemly conduct to their mistress, and instinc- 
tively their hands went to their swords, and but 
for the restraining hand of Joanna on Crispano's 
shoulder Charles's days would have come to an 
abrupt conclusion. The Queen was not at all 

256 The Beautiful Queen 

offended at this Scandinavian expression of admira- 
tion, and behaved most graciously to the impetuous 
young Swede. 

St. Bridget was terribly distressed at this incident, 
for Charles had a wife in Sweden, with whom he 
was not on the best of terms ; her piety did not suit 
his worldly taste and love of society, and it was said 
he would gladly be rid of her, and his subsequent 
conduct showed there was truth in this report. 
St. Bridget went back to the Hospice deeply 
mortified and grieved at what she foresaw would 
be a great trial, for the Queen was again a widow 
and had seemed to be by no means displeased by 
Charles's sudden passion for her. The saint threw 
herself on her knees and then prostrated herself 
before the altar in the chapel of the Brothers 
Hospitallers on her return, and for the rest of her 
stay in Naples spent the greater part of her time 
there. Here the sick were brought to her to heal, 
and here she poured out her heart in prayer for 
her son. 

Meanwhile Charles seemed to have abandoned 
the idea of continuing his pilgrimage to the Holy 
Land, and to have made up his mind to remain in 
Naples, where he spent his days in following the 
Queen, and dancing attendance upon her ; and Joanna 
encouraged her Swedish lover, and it was said 
seriously contemplated asking Charles to marry her. 
St. Bridget, on hearing this gossip, went to the 

Joanna and Charles of Sweden 257 

Queen and told her that Charles already had a wife 
and children in Sweden. Whether Joanna did 
seriously think of asking the Pope to dispense 
Charles from his marriage vows, which seems in- 
credible, or whether she was unaware of his marriage 
till St. Bridget apprised her of it, or whether she 
merely intended to employ Charles to fight her battles 
for her (for the incursions of Ambrose Visconti into 
her dominions and the quarrels of the Neapolitan 
princes made her councillors desire her to marry a 
fourth time, so as to have some one to help her 
to defend her kingdom) we do not know. However 
this may be, she continued her friendship with the 
handsome young Scandinavian warrior, and, to the 
great distress of his mother, they met frequently, 
and not all St. Bridget's entreaties could induce 
Charles to leave Naples, whose Queen heaped 
presents upon him. 

Joanna now issued invitations to one of the 
grand or solemn balls for which her court was 
celebrated, but when the evening arrived Charles 
did not appear. The Queen sent a messenger 
with a command for him to come, as she was 
expecting him ; but on reaching the Hospice at 
which he was staying the messenger found he 
was seriously ill with a sudden attack of fever, 
and too weak to leave his bed or to speak above 
a whisper. His illness, which was fatal, lasted a 
fortnight, during which time St. Bridget scarcely 


258 The Beautiful Queen 

left his bedside, watching and praying for his 
repentance, which, if tardy, seems to have been 

When the news of his death was communicated 
to the Queen, Joanna commanded that Charles's 
funeral should be celebrated with the pomp befitting 
one who was of high rank and on terms of intimate 
friendship with her. The Archbishop of Naples 
sung the Requiem in the cathedral, and a very 
grand procession followed the remains of the hand- 
some young Swede to the Franciscan monastery of 
Santa Croce, where he was buried. His death was 
one of the greatest sorrows of St. Bridget's life ; 
she was seventy when it occurred, but she was 
present at his funeral, and almost immediately after 
left Naples, with the other pilgrims in her train, 
for the Holy Land. 

The Swedish saint paid one more visit to Naples, 
about two years later, on her way home from 
Jerusalem to Rome, where she was living, and 
where she died soon after. On her arrival this 
time at Naples she found the city sufFering from 
the Plague, and Joanna, the Archbishop of Naples, 
and the citizens were all assembled at the harbour 
to greet her when her galley was sighted. They 
implored her to deliver their beautiful city from 
this terrible scourge ; for her reputation was so great 
that the Queen, as well as the people, believed she 
had the power to drive it away by her prayers, for 

Joanna and Charles of Sweden 259 

in those days this dread disease was considered a 
punishment from Almighty God. 

St. Bridget was not slow to take advantage of 
this belief, and answered that " penitence alone 
could turn away the divine anger from kings and 
peoples, and that she would pray for guidance, 
and tell them what Almighty God revealed to her 
on the subject." 

The result of the saint's prayers was that she 
wrote a severe letter to her friend the Queen, 
in the course of which she admonished her as 
follows : 

" Confess your faults with sincerity, and firmly 
resolve to amend them. Think on the manner in 
which you have fulfilled the duties of wife and 
Queen. Restore any wealth unjustly acquired. 
Be just before you are generous. Free your 
subjects from as many taxes as you can. Surround 
yourself with frank, wise, and disinterested counsellors. 
Do not paint your beautiful face, lest by so doing 
souls should be lost. Be humble. Love and solace 
the poor. Meditate upon the Passion of Christ, 
and fear the Lord, for you have led a life of ease 
rather than that of a Queen. You will never have 
any more children, therefore so rule the affairs of 
your kingdom that peace may reign after your 
death. There only remain a few years for you to 
live ; employ them in the service of God and in 
penitence : if not, at the last judgment you will 

260 The Beautiful Queen 

be treated as an ungrateful person, odious to the 
Lord, to angels, and to men." 

This remarkable but sensible letter was, it must 
be remembered, written by an ascetic who was 
herself leading a life of rigorous penance, treating 
her body with the greatest severity, to whom, 
therefore, Joanna's liking for society and gaiety 
appeared as grievous sins ; moreover, St. Bridget 
had been greatly scandalised by her son Charles's 
sudden fit of passion for Joanna, and the way in 
which the Queen had received it. 

One of the Swedish pilgrims, Magnus d'Eka by 
name, was entrusted to deliver this letter to the 
Queen, who received it with great sweetness, and 
did not in the least resent St. Bridget's warnings 
and counsels. She granted her old friend several 
private audiences during the two months that the 
saint spent in Naples. 

Not content with admonishing the Queen, St. 
Bridget wrote several letters to the Archbishop of 
Naples, in which she commented most severely on 
the vice of the Neapolitans, and especially upon 
the treatment of their slaves. The Archbishop is 
said to have received her letters with respect, and 
to have had portions of them read from the pulpit 
in the cathedral, and also some of her revelations^ 
which, as the saint believed, were made to her 
during her stay there. 

The fact that the plague was raging in Naples 

From a woodcut in " Revelationes Sancta Birgitta, 1500." 
p. 260] 

Joanna and Charles of Sweden 261 

no doubt rendered the Archbishop and clergy more 
disposed ta listen to the teaching of the Swedish 
prophetess, who was already revered as a saint ; but 
although conversions were made among the upper 
classes, the populace paid but little heed to the 
counsels and warnings given from the cathedral 

Before St. Bridget left Naples, Joanna, hearing 
that she was in want of money to continue her 
journey to Rome, with her customary generosity 
sent her a handsome present of money, which 
the saint, after some hesitation, gratefully ac- 
cepted, and then, at Joanna's invitation, went to 
spend a few days with the Queen at Aversa, where 
she was then in residence, taking her daughter 
Catherine with her, intending to start from thence 
for Rome. St. Catherine did not like Joanna, and 
was anxious to leave as soon as possible, while 
St. Bridget, who was much attached to the Queen, 
whom she looked upon as her spiritual daughter, 
and saw with how many temptations the beautiful 
widowed Queen was beset, would fain have lingered 
longer with her, in the hope of persuading her to 
lead a stricter life. But St. Bridget was in very 
feeble health, and no doubt St. Catherine was anxious 
to get her safely back to Rome ; and after a short 
stay at Aversa, the wind and weather being favour- 
able, the pilgrims sailed for Rome, where St. Bridget 
died on July 23rd of that same year. 

262 The Beautiful Queen 

By her death Joanna lost another real friend, to 
whom she seems to have been sincerely attached, 
since she loved her well enough to receive her 
reproofs and warnings with her customary sweetness. 

The very fact of St. Bridget's friendship for 
Joanna, in spite of the great contrast in their 
manner of life, speaks volumes in favour of the 
much maligned Queen, for we cannot suppose that 
if Joanna had been half as bad as some of her 
detractors would have us believe, that so strict and 
holy a woman as St. Bridget would have accepted 
money from her, as well as hospitality, or have 
visited her on three separate occasions. 

Joanna's Fourth Marriage 

THE next event which disturbed Joanna's troubled 
reign was the rebellion of the Duke of Andria, 
which was coincident with the visit of St. Bridget 
to Naples, and resulted ultimately in the loss of 
Piedmont. This ambitious man had married Mar- 
garet of Taranto, by whom he had two children, a 
son and a daughter. The son was now, by the 
will of his late uncle, Philip, who made him his 
heir, Prince of Taranto, and he and his father 
now combined together to seize the lands of the 
barons surrounding their own dominions, with which 
they were not content. The first place they took 
was the town of Matera, which belonged to the 
Sanseverini, the most powerful family in the kingdom, 
who at once appealed to the Queen. Joanna sent a 
well-trusted officer to remonstrate privately with the 
Duke of Andria on his conduct, and to offer in her 
name to arbitrate for him. 


264 The Beautiful Queen 

The Duke treated her ambassador with great 
insolence, and refused to consent to any arbitration 
or to give up Matera. Joanna, unwilling to resort 
to extremes, assembled the Andria family, and 
sent them in turn to remonstrate with him, 
but all in vain. She then commanded him to 
appear before her in person, but this Andria re- 
fused to do. 

Joanna, finding that her clemency was lost upon 
her contumacious subject, now called a meeting of 
her council, and, seated upon her throne, passed 
sentence upon the Duke, commanding the Sanseverini 
to occupy not only the lands of which the Duke 
had deprived them, but also his possessions in Apulia, 
which were held by him in fief to the crown, and 
now belonged to it in forfeit of his disobedience and 

The Duke had assembled all his forces in the 
neighbourhood of Naples, intending to invade the 
capital, to force the Queen to yield to his wishes. 
However, the Sanseverini were strong enough to 
defeat him and drive him back from Naples, and 
to lay siege to the two adjacent towns of Tiani and 
Sessa, which he had strongly fortified. 

The Neapolitans suffered severely during the siege 
of Tiani, from want of provisions, and Joanna went 
about the city from piazza to piazza in her armour, 
soothing the people and exhorting them to endure 
privations bravely for a time, as it would be to their 

Joanna's Fourth Marriage 265 

future advantage. The siege lasted five months, 
and then the Duke of Andria, seeing his cause was 
hopeless, fled in the night, ordering the citizens to 
capitulate if the enemy would set at liberty the 
Duchess, whom he had left behind him. 

Joanna, however, insisted upon an unconditional 
surrender, and at the end of a fortnight the garrison 
yielded, and the Duchess was immediately taken to 
Naples. To defray the expenses of the war, Joanna 
sold both Tiani and Sessa, and gave the proceeds 
to two of the barons who had fought for her. She 
also gave away the forfeited duchy of Andria to one 
of them, but she very wisely kept Taranto for her- 
self, as it was such an important part of her 
dominions. The Duke of Andria now sought the 
protection of the Pope at Avignon, who gave him 
large sums of money, with which he was able to 
raise a large army of thirteen thousand men, and 
had advanced as far as Capua, when Joanna sum- 
moned a council of war, and with the help of all 
her barons provided for the defence of Naples itself ; 
but Andria advanced to Aversa, and there waited to 
visit his uncle, Raymond de Baux. 

De Baux was a man of great weight in the kingdom, 
and occupied the post of Grand Chamberlain ; he 
received his rebellious nephew with great severity, 
and sternly reproved him for his conduct, and told 
him his only course now was to throw himself at the 
feet of the Queen and implore her mercy, and get 

266 The Beautiful Queen 

the Pope to intercede for him with Joanna, who 
was noted for her clemency. 

The Duke was frightened at this attitude of his 
uncle, and fled secretly to Provence, where he re- 
covered his courage, and began again to plot against 
Joanna, and introduced some mercenaries into her 
kingdom, who caused such alarm and suffering to 
her people that to get rid of them she agreed to pay 
them a large sum of money if they would leave. 

At the same time a large part of her dominions in 
Piedmont fell into the hands of the Duke of Savoy, 
and she was too much hampered by the Duke of 
Andria's rebellion to be able to oppose him ; con- 
sequently she lost for ever this principality, for 
Gregory XI. did not exert himself on her behalf 
as his predecessors had done. Close upon this 
misfortune came the death of one of her most 
cherished and able advisers, Raymond de Baux, 
whom she deplored deeply. 

Of course the natural person to take upon himself 
the defence of her cause was Charles Durazzo, her 
adopted son and heir ; but he was still fighting in the 
service of her enemy, the King of Hungary, and 
nothing would induce him to come to Naples and 
defend his own inheritance. Seeing herself thus 
lonely and unprotected from the many dangers 
and enemies, open and secret, which surrounded 
her, the only thing for her to do as it seemed to her 
and her advisers was to marry a fourth time. 

Joanna's Fourth Marriage 267 

There was then living in Naples, a frequenter of 
the Neapolitan Court, Otho, Prince of Brunswick, 
who had won a great reputation by his bravery and 
military exploits in Italy, where he was formerly Vicar- 
General of the Emperor Charles IV. of Bohemia. 
He was the younger son of the reigning Duke of 
Brunswick, and, seeing no chance of ever inheriting 
the duchy, he left his native land and went to Italy 
to try to earn distinction for himself as a con- 
dottiero or captain of one of the various companies 
of mercenaries, whom the Italian States employed to 
fight their battles for them in the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries. The condottieri had certain 
rules, which they observed faithfully ; for instance, 
they spared each other, they demanded enormous 
sums for their services, but they always sent their 
prisoners back without a ransom. 

Otho was about the same age as Joanna ; he 
was very popular in Italy and was handsome as 
well as brave and good, and upon him Joanna's 
choice fell. And it was fortunate for her that it did, 
for he was the best of all her husbands, though 
unable to save her from the final tragedy which 
closed her life. He was generous and faithful to all 
his engagements, he was neither greedy nor am- 
bitious, and agreed to the condition which Joanna 
imposed. This was that he should not bear the title 
of King, which she feared would excite the envy of 
Charles Durazzo, but every other honour that it was 

268 The Beautiful Queen 

in her power to grant him she bestowed upon him. 
She gave him the principality of Taranto, which had 
been forfeited, and it is thought that one of her great 
reasons in marrying him was that he might under- 
take the government of this part of her dominions, 
which it would have hardly been safe to entrust to 
any one who was not thus closely allied to her. 

She was forty-six when she married Otho, but 
she was so well preserved that she was still extra- 
ordinarily youngr-looking. In character Otho is said 
to have resembled her so much that the greatest 
harmony and affection existed between them ; and at 
last, after three ventures which can none of them 
be described as ideal marriages, Joanna made ex- 
perience of conjugal happiness, though it came late 
in life, and was destined not to be of very long 
duration. Still it is gratifying to know that she 
secured at least a lustre of real happiness from that 
strange mixture of joy and sorrow which we call life. 

Strange to say, on the same day that Joanna and 
Otho were married Ambrose Visconti, who had 
been a State prisoner in the Castel del Ovo since his 
rebellion against the Queen, made his escape from 
prison. Whether there was some relaxation in the 
watch kept over him on this august occasion, or 
whether Joanna, so celebrated for her mercy to 
those who had offended her, had given orders that 
an opportunity for escape should be given him, we 
do not know. 

Joanna's Fourth Marriage 269 

There was a celebrated astrologer living in Pro- 
vence when Joanna was born, named Anselmo, who 
when consulted as to whether the royal infant 
Princess would marry answered, " Joanna maritaberis 
cum Alio." The superstitious Neapolitans now 
declared that the interpretation of this hitherto cryp- 
tic utterance was that Alio represented the initial 
letters of the names of her four husbands, Andrew, 
Louis, James, and Otho, which seems rather far- 

If Joanna married a fourth time to please her- 
self, she did not please her adopted son Charles 
Durazzo, nor his wife Margaret, her adopted 
daughter and niece, who were both very angry, 
fearing that if there were any issue from the Queen's 
marriage they would lose the crown, although 
Joanna took every opportunity of asserting her 
intention of leaving it to Charles Durazzo, her most 
ungrateful heir. This fourth marriage took place in 
1374, according to Costanzo ; other writers, who 
appear to have copied each other, put the date 
at 1376. 

At the time of Joanna's fourth marriage, and 
for a few years after, Naples was the only part of 
Italy that was at peace, for the Florentines and the 
Viscontis had invaded the Papal States, and the 
principal cities belonging to the Papacy, Bologna, 
Perugia, and Pavia, took this opportunity to de- 
clare their independence. 

270 The Beautiful Queen 

The Pope at first tried to bring back the Floren- 
tines and the revolted cities to their allegiance by 
fatherly persuasion; but as they disregarded all his 
overtures and promises of pardon if they submitted, 
he summoned the Florentine magistrates to appear 
before him at Avignon. But instead of obeying his 
orders, they ill-treated his messengers, and Gregory, 
now driven to exercise his authority if he wished 
for peace, issued a Bull of Excommunication against 
the Florentines, dated April 30th, 1376. This was 
a most severe punishment, for it absolved all their 
subjects from their allegiance, and by it they forfeited 
all their rights and privileges as citizens, and their 
estates in every part of the world became the pro- 
perty of any one who could seize them. Foreign 
princes were forbidden to receive them into their 
kingdoms, except as slaves, and their children to the 
third generation were proclaimed incapable of hold- 
ing any office, either ecclesiastical or civil. 

This terrible punishment destroyed the trade of 
Florence completely, and the citizens soon tried to 
make their peace with the Pope, for besides all these 
temporal deprivations, they were also deprived of 
the Sacraments, except in the case of the dying. In 
their distress the Florentines now appealed to the 
dyer's daughter afterwards known as St. Catherine 
of Siena, whose reputation for sanctity was even 
greater than that which her contemporary St. Bridget 
of Sweden enjoyed, and the Commune of Florence 

Joanna's Fourth Marriage 271 

entreated her to go to Siena and intercede with 
Gregory for them. 

St. Catherine was received with great honour at 
Avignon, and the Pope had such confidence in her 
judgment that he entrusted her with full power to 
make peace with the Florentines, knowing well that 
she would not do so at the expense of the Church. 
On her return to Siena the people rose against her 
and even threatened to kill her, but she escaped 
from them, and the Florentines then begged for the 
mediation of the neutral States of Italy. 

Joanna and Otho exerted all their influence at 
Avignon and Florence, and were aided by the 
Genoese, and at length succeeded in procuring a 
truce. During this temporary peace the Florentines 
prevailed upon St. Catherine of Siena to go a 
second time to Avignon, and urge the Pope to 
return to Rome, promising to submit to the Holy 
See if he would remove it back to the Eternal City, 
but hinting plainly that if he -did not they would 
again begin hostilities. Gregory, yielding at last 
against his own judgment to the remonstrances of 
St. Catherine, who like St. Bridget told him of the 
visions and revelations she had had concerning him, 
decided to go back to Rome, fearing that if he dis- 
regarded the letters St. Bridget had written to him, 
and the solemn warnings of St. Catherine and Peter 
of Aragon — who also claimed to have had a revelation 
from Heaven, commanding the Pope to return — he 

272 The Beautiful Queen 

might be disobeying the will of Almighty God ; so 
he set sail for Rome, whither he did not arrive until 
January 17th, 1377. 

In the meanwhile St. Catherine of Sweden, the 
daughter of St. Bridget, had gone back to Rome 
from Wadstena (where she was now Abbess in the 
first convent of the Brigittines) to labour for the 
canonisation of St. Bridget. In 1376 Catherine 
arrived at Naples, bent on the same errand, namely, 
to collect a list of the miracles said to have been 
performed by St. Bridget during her visits to Naples, 
and to get the attestations of the Archbishop and 
bishops, and other witnesses of the truth of these 
reputed miracles. 

There Catherine, who had no liking for the 
Queen, did not see Joanna at all, though she 
stayed two months at least in the city. Pro- 
bably St. ' Catherine disapproved very strongly of 
Joanna's many marriages, for she herself was not 
only a "widow indeed," but she had never been a 
wife except in name, having persuaded her husband 
to let her live as his sister. 

Perhaps there may have been some jealousy 
between these two women, both remarkable for their 
beauty. At any rate, there was no friendship 
between them such as had existed between Joanna 
and Catherine's mother. 

One of St. Catherine's Neapolitan friends was the 
wife of Jamotti, the Seneschal of Salerno ; and during 


p. 272] 

Joanna's Fourth Marriage 273 

the Abbess's stay in Naples, Alfarina, as she was 
called, confided to her that her husband's love for 
her had turned to hatred, because she had borne him 
no less than seven stillborn infants, and he believed, 
with the superstition then so common among all 
ranks, that she was accursed. Alfarina was again 
about to become a mother, and she dreaded that 
again her hopes might be disappointed, and another 
little coffin be required to take the place of the 
cradle she had prepared. Catherine comforted her 
and encouraged her to have hope, and gave her 
some relics of her mother so soon to be canonised ; 
and not long after the joyful sound of the wail of a 
new-born infant was heard in the palace, which 
afterwards received the name of Bridget, and is 
said to have been the first child in Italy so called. 

Gregory XI. received as enthusiastic a welcome 
on his entry into his capital as his predecessor 
St. Urban V. had done. The reins of his white 
courser were held by Robert Orsini, one of the greatest 
Roman barons, and he was acclaimed with loud, 
joyful shouts of "Evviva il Papa!" These demon- 
strations were as hollow as a drum : he was beset 
from within by the insolence of the Roman nobility, 
and from without by war and rebellion ; and at the 
end of a year he decided to return to Avignon, but 
before he could carry out this intention he died on 
March 27th, 1378. 

On his deathbed he is said by some writers, 


274 "The Beautiful Queeri 

though others question it, to have warned his hearers 
to place no faith in visions and revelations, and to 
have regretted that he had been led by them to 
return to Rome. At the same time it must be 
remembered that he was on the point of adding 
St. Bridget's name to the Calendar of the Saints 
when his death occurred, and it was left to his 
successor to continue her cause ; but the canonisation 
did not take place until 1391, when Boniface IX. 
at last rewarded all Catherine's efforts on her mother's 

Although Gregory XI. had never been a great 
friend to Joanna, it was an unhappy day for her 
when he died, for his successor became her greatest 
enemy. Just before his death, foreseeing that there 
would be great difficulties in the election of the new 
Pope, Gregory published a Bull providing that instead 
of the usual number of two-thirds of the votes being 
necessary to secure the election of the Supreme 
Pontiff, when the Conclave should meet for that 
purpose, a majority of votes should suffice. 

The Sacred College consisted at that time of only 
twenty-three Cardinals, eighteen of whom were 
French, four Italian, and one a Spaniard. There 
was a strong feeling among the Italians, and especially 
among the Romans, to force the Conclave to elect an 
Italian Pope instead of a French one this time, 
as the late Pope had foreseen. The city of Rome 
was now governed by a supreme magistrate called 

Joanna's Fourth Marriage 275 

the Senator, assisted by twelve Bannerets ; and during 
the time which elapsed between the death of Gregory 
and the meeting of the Conclave, these Bannerets 
met, and waited in a body on the Cardinals and 
warned them that the people of Rome were deter- 
mined to have an Italian Pope, and in the event 
of any one of another nationality being chosen they 
would not undertake to protect the Cardinals from 
the violence of the populace. 

The mode of election of a new Pope and all 
the arrangements for the Cardinals who form the 
Conclave differ very little in the twentieth century 
from those which prevailed in the fourteenth. Rome 
changes very slightly in these matters — she is "semper 
eadem " •; but the circumstances attending the Con- 
clave which followed the death of Gregory XI. were 
so unusual, and the result was of such vital con- 
sequence to Joanna especially, as well as to the 
whole of Christendom, that we must devote a little 
space to describing it, even though it be an oft-told 

The Beginning of the Great Schism 

THE prophetic fears of Pope Gregory XI. were 
destined to be only too well fulfilled, and 
when the Conclave met to elect his successors this 
became apparent. Before the Cardinals assembled, 
deputations of Roman citizens approached many 
of them, to beg them to elect a Roman or at least 
an Italian to the Chair of Peter. They began 
the interview with entreaties, and ended with 

Later in the proceedings the Romans obtained 
the office of guarding the Cardinals, and proceeded 
to do this very thoroughly ; for they took possession 
of the sails and rudders of all the boats on the 
Tiber, to prevent any of them from escaping that 
way until they had elected an Italian Pope. When 
the Conclave was sitting the noise of the mob, who 
blew on trumpets and played upon tambourines, and 

shouted and yelled, and hissed and cheered, deafened 


The Beginning of the Great Schism 277 

them ; but had they felt their lives were in danger, 
they could easily have hired some mercenaries to 
defend them, and the fact that they did not do so 
points to the validity of the election which followed, 
and shows that they were not intimidated into making 
choice of an Italian Pope, as was afterwards maintained 
by the adherents of the antipope. 

On April 6th a terrific thunderstorm broke over 
the city, and a thunderbolt fell upon the cell of the 
Spanish Cardinal, Pierre de Luna, of Aragon, and 
a rumour spread that he had been elected ; and so 
much damage was done by the storm to the Vatican 
that it was difficult to instal the Cardinals, and 
the Conclave had to be postponed for twenty-four 

On the 7th, when the Conclave met again at 
four in the afternoon, the piazza of St. Peter's was 
covered with a crowd of ao,ooo people, who shouted 
at the Cardinals as they entered, " We will have 
an Italian Pope ! Give us an Italian Pope or we 
shall know what to do ! " 

Of the four Italian Cardinals in the Conclave, 
Cardinal Orsini was too young to be elected — he 
was then only twenty-four — and Piero, Cardinal of 
St. Peter's, was too old, and suffered from gout so 
badly that he had to be carried across the square 
into the palace. On the night of the 7th the mob 
broke into the Vatican and found access to the Papal 
cellars, and got tipsy on Canary and Chianti, and 

278 The Beautiful Queen 

threatened the lives of the Cardinals, demanding 
a Roman Pope ; but the Cardinals would not be 
intimidated, and Orsini told them that if they were 
to elect any one through fear of them, the election 
would be ipso facto null and void. 

Now there was an outsider, Nicholas Prignano, 
a Neapolitan, the Archbishop of Bari, who had 
been consulted by the Cardinals before they entered 
into the Conclave, and who had also taken part in the 
deliberations of the Bannerets on the same subject, 
and before the Conclave a good many of the Cardinals 
were prepared to vote for Prignano, and eventually 
did so on April 8 th, and he, being elected by fifteen 
votes, took the title of Urban VI. 

The new Pope belonged to a noble Neapolitan 
family, and was not only a very eloquent, capable, 
wise man, but at the time of his election he was 
also very good and pious, humble and mortified, and 
was held in high esteem by his countrymen, and 
especially by his Queen, Joanna, who had a very 
great regard for him. 

While the Conclave was sitting Thomas d'Acerno, 
Joanna's attorney, who was in Rome, wrote to one 
of her chamberlains to say that the Archbishop of 
Bari stood a very good chance of being elected ; 
and when the news of his exaltation to the highest 
earthly dignity actually came to Naples, the Queen 
and her people were all delighted at the honour 
conferred upon their countryman. 

The Beginning of the Great Schism 279 

Joanna with her usual royal generosity immedi- 
ately sent the new Pope a present of 40,000 crowns, 
a ship-load of provisions, and all kinds of things 
which she thought would be useful to him, and 
at the same time she wrote to tell him that all 
her kingdom had to offer was at his disposal. Later, 
when the Cardinals rebelled against him, Joanna sent 
him 200 cavalry and a large body of foot-soldiers to 
guard him. 

We shall never know all Urban's reasons for 
acting as he now did ; for while he accepted Joanna's 
presents and the service of her troops, he was 
plotting her downfall with her brother-in-law, 1 
the Duke of Andria, who was in rebellion against 

Joanna had now four great enemies to contend 
with : her life-long enemy, Louis of Hungary, was 
still upon the warpath ; the Duke of Andria was 
in rebellion against her ; her nephew and heir, 
Charles of Durazzo, was in the service of the 
King of Hungary, and plotting to dethrone her ; 
and, as she was soon to discover, the new Pope 
was the most powerful of all her foes. 

The shadows were darkening round her. The 
accession of Urban VI. was the first step in the 
downfall of the beautiful Sicilian Queen. Had 
she opposed Prignano's election from the first, it 

1 Her sister-in-law, Margaret of Taranto, was married to the Duke 
of Andria. 

280 The Beautiful Queen 

would have been easy to understand Urban's conduct 
towards her ; but, as we have just seen, she did 
not do so — on the contrary she treated him with 
generous loyalty until the crash came. 

Urban's enemies attributed his behaviour to 
Joanna to his nepotism, a grave fault in a Pope, 
of which he cannot be excused ; for it is said he 
desired the greater part of Joanna's kingdom for 
his nephew, Francisco or Butillo Prignano, a most 
unworthy man of licentious life, and Urban deter- 
mined to invest Charles Durazzo with Joanna's 
crown on condition that he would give up half 
the kingdom to his nephew, Francisco Prignano. 

While the Pope and the Duke of Andria were 
sending secret messengers to Durazzo, to try to 
negotiate this business, Cardinal Orsini went to 
the Neapolitan Court, and in an interview with the 
Queen tried to induce her to refuse to acknowledge 
Urban, and to get the Ultramontane Cardinals to 
elect him as Pope in his stead. 

Joanna, with her usual wisdom, refused to do 
anything of the kind ; and so far from favouring 
Cardinal Orsini's proposal, she sent a splendid 
embassy — with her husband, Prince Otho of Bruns- 
wick, at its head, accompanied by her Chancellor, 
Nicholas Spinelli — to Rome to endeavour to smooth 
matters there, and to make peace between the Pope 
and the now offended Cardinals, and if possible 
to ward off the threatened schism. 

The Beginning of the Great Schism 281 

This act of Joanna's should not be forgotten, 
as it too often is by her detractors, who, because 
she afterwards was unhappily led to espouse the 
cause of the antipope, Clement VII., and to play 
a prominent part in the Great Schism, heap all 
manner of abuse upon her, remembering all her 
bad acts and forgetting all her good ones, forgetting 
also the very great provocation she received to 
revolt from Urban, although nothing could excuse 
her from doing so. His election, though disputed, 
was legal, and it was the duty of all good Catholics, 
of whom Joanna was one, to be loyal to him in 
spite of his faults, which were great. 

To begin with, Urban had a violent temper, and 
after his exaltation he became so haughty, and 
treated the Cardinals who had elected him with such 
scorn and contempt, and instituted such vigorous 
if necessary reforms, that they revolted against him, 
and thirteen out of the fifteen who had voted for 
him were so disgusted at the treatment they received 
at his hands that they withdrew from Rome and 
went to Anagni first, and afterwards, at the request 
of Onerato Cajetano, Lord of Fondi, to Fondi, where 
they ultimately elected the antipope Robert, Bishop 
of Geneva, who took the title of Clement VII. 

Onerato Cajetano was a most powerful Neapolitan 
baron, and had lent the late Pope 20,000 florins, 
and when Urban came to the throne he wrote and 
asked him to discharge his predecessor's debt. Urban 

282 The Beautiful Queen 

was furious, and deprived Cajetano of his title and 
fief, and gave them to Sanseverini, Prince Otho's 
Chancellor. Cajetano's.- daughter was engaged to be 
married to Otho's brother, Balthazar of Brunswick. 

Unfortunately Joanna's mission to Rome was 
twofold. First and foremost it was to try to make 
peace between the Pope and Cardinals ; but secondly 
it was to ask Urban's consent to the marriage of 
Maria, daughter and heiress of Frederick the Simple 
of Sicily, to Prince Otho's nephew, the Marquis of 

Urban, however, desired to unite the rich Sicilian 
heiress with his own nephew, Francis Prignano, and 
he was so angry at the proposal made to him on 
Montferrat' s behalf that he could not command his 
temper sufficiently to answer the ambassadors civilly. 
Nicholas Spinelli, Joanna's Chancellor, and Urban 
had been intimate friends before Joanna's favour had 
raised them both to the high position they after- 
wards occupied in her kingdom ; but now Urban 
would not listen to his old friend, who was almost 
as anxious to serve him as he was to please Joanna ; 
and when the Chancellor tried to point out that 
the marriage he had come to propose would be 
most advantageous to the Papacy, since it would 
unite both the Sicilies in its interests, the Pope flew 
into a violent passion, and said he " would soon 
send the Queen of Naples to spin in the monastery 
of St. Clare." 

The Beginning of the Great Schism 283 

From this time matters between the Neapolitan 
embassy and the Pope went from bad to worse. 
Prince Otho and the Chancellor, Nicholas Spinelli, 
were naturally highly indignant at this insult to 
Joanna, and Urban continued to add fuel to the 
flame he had kindled by a succession of slights 
which he put upon Joanna's husband and minister. 

One day, at a public banquet in Rome, Spinelli 
seated himself next to Otho (which indeed was his 
proper place as Chancellor of the kingdom he 
represented), whereupon the Pope ordered him to 
get up instantly, and not presume to occupy a place 
which did not belong to him, but to go lower down. 
The Neapolitan pride of Spinelli could little brook 
this insult, and it is said that he never forgave it. 

Urban, not content with insulting Joanna's 
Chancellor and his own old friend, treated the 
Neapolitan Queen's husband also with marked 
contempt, and also with great ingratitude, for Otho 
had done all in his power to support the Pope 
and uphold his authority. 

On one occasion when the Prince of Brunswick, 
according to custom, held a basin of water and a 
towel for the Holy Father to wash his hands before 
dinner, Urban turned away and, pretending not to 
see the Prince kneeling at his side, entered into 
conversation with some one else, till one of his 
friends, horrified at this behaviour to one of such 
high rank as Prince Otho, the Consort of the Queen 

284 The Beautiful Queen 

of Naples, exclaimed : " Your Holiness must needs 
wash ; Holy Father, it is high time you did so." 

Otho's secretary says that Otho then repeated 
the remark made of an earlier Pope Urban, that 
he feared the Holy Father should rather be called 
a disturber than urbane, making a Latin pun lost 
in translation. 1 

It does not require much imagination to picture 
Joanna's just anger when Otho and her Chancellor 
returned to Naples and related this incident and 
various other insults which they had received at 
the hands of the Pope, whom she had originally 
been so anxious to help, and had treated with such 
generosity. Petty annoyances and slights of this 
kind are apt to stir up and engender more strife 
and bitterness than more aggressive actions. The 
scenes between Urban and Joanna's embassy took 
place at Tivoli, whither Urban had retired when 
the other Cardinals went to Anagni, from whence 
they issued encyclical letters to, all the European 
courts, declaring the election of Urban null and 

As a cbunterblast to this, Urban proceeded to 
create twenty-nine new Cardinals, and at the same 
time he offered to have his election examined by a 
General Council of the Church, which he proposed 
to call ; but the Cardinals refused to consent to this, 

1 " Pro certo pater noster non Urbanus sed potius, timeo Turbanus 

The Beginning of the Great Schism 285 

and the election in September of the Bishop of 
Geneva by the Cardinals at Fondi, which was in the 
kingdom of Naples, was the beginning of the Great 
Schism, which disturbed the Church and the whole 
of Europe for forty years, from 1378 to 141 8. 

Robert of Geneva, the antipope, was a most blood- 
thirsty man ; he had personally led into Italy the 
Breton Company, the most inhuman of all the 
marauding bands of adventurers which molested Italy, 
and he had instigated them to commit atrocities. 
They were commanded now by Francesco de Vico, 
Prefect of Viterbo. 

Robert of Geneva, after his election by the French 
Cardinals, was crowned in the Castle of Fondi, in 
the presence of Prince Otho and other Neapolitan 
nobles. Of the four Italian Cardinals who had 
voted for Urban, only two remained faithful, the 
old Cardinal Piero of St. Peter's died, and Cardinal 
Orsini now joined Joanna and recognised Clement 
VII. as Pope. When Urban returned to Rome from 
Tivoli he found himself deserted by the Sacred 
College ; and it was by the advice of St. Catherine 
of Siena that he created the new Cardinals. She 
admonished him never to resign his high office, and 
by her admirable counsels encouraged him to perse- 
vere in his difficult career. 

Very soon all Christendom was divided between 
the rival Popes, some countries remaining true to 
Urban, others joining the Clementines. The Emperor 

286 The Beautiful Queen 

of Germany, the Kings of England, Sweden, 
Denmark, Hungary, Bohemia, and most of the 
Italian States and Flanders were loyal to Urban ; 
whereas France and Scotland (which at that time 
invariably sided with France against England), Spain, 
Naples, Austria, Cyprus, Savoy, and some of the 
Italian and German States joined Clement's party. 

The Papal war now began in earnest. Rival armies, 
each bearing the banner and Keys of St. Peter, met 
on the plains of the Romagna, and at first the 
advantage was on the side of the Clementines. 
Meanwhile Urban and Clement fulminated ana- 
themas against each other, and each excommuni- 
cated the adherents of the rival Pope, so that all 
Europe was disturbed and unsettled by the quarrels 
of the Urbanists and the Clementines. 

St. Catherine of Siena now proposed to Urban 
that she should go to Naples with St. Catherine of 
Sweden, St. Bridget's daughter (who was in Rome, 
working for her mother's canonisation, which was 
delayed by the schism), and endeavour to win Joanna 
over to his cause. But there were two obstacles to 
this plan. In the first place, Catherine of Sweden, who 
we know did not like Joanna, positively refused to 
go and see her; and in the second place the confessor 
of St. Catherine of Siena, Raymond of Capua, dissuaded 
her from going, and Urban reluctantly yielded to 
his representations, for which the saint was very 

From a woodcut in " Revelatwnes Sanclat Birgilta;, 1500." 
p. 286] 

The Beginning of the Great Schism 287 

St. Catherine of Siena, who had a high respect for 
the Neapolitan Queen, now wrote letters to Joanna 
and to some of the ladies in her court, and sent them 
to Naples by her devoted friend, Neri di Landuccio, 
entreating the Queen to be loyal to the lawful Pope. 
But by this time Joanna was unfortunately too 
closely involved in the fortunes of the antipope to 
draw back ; moreover, she knew Urban was deter- 
mined to depose her in favour of Charles Durazzo, 
to whom he had again offered the crown of Naples, 
through Joanna's enemy, the Duke of Andria, whom 
he sent to Charles to persuade him to accept it. 

Charles, who was not so black as he has been painted, 
seems to have had scruples at first at treating his 
foster-mother in so ungrateful a way, but Andria 
overcame them by rousing his jealousy against 
Prince Otho and Robert, Count of Artois, who had 
married the Queen's eldest niece, Joanna, Duchess 
of Durazzo, daughter of Maria of Sicily, and the 
Duke suggested that Joanna intended to leave her 
crown to either one or the other of them. Joanna, 
however, had made different plans, and had decided 
to adopt Louis of Anjou as her heir. 

Charles of Durazzo hesitated to obey the Pope's 
injunctions for another reason : his wife Margaret, 
the Queen's adopted daughter, and his two children 
lived in the palace with Joanna, and until they were 
removed he could not with due regard for their 
safety take active measures to obtain the throne. 

288 The Beautiful Queen 

Meanwhile Urban VI. created several Neapolitan 
Cardinals, and bestowed benefices upon some member 
of all the most important families of the kingdom, 
by which stroke of diplomacy he won over to his 
cause many of the most influential subjects of Joanna, 
who was now unfortunately irrevocably pledged to 
the antipope. 

The battle of Marino between the two rival Papal 
armies proved victorious for Urban, thanks to the 
services of Sir John Hawkwood and his mercenaries, 
whom he had hired to fight for him ; and Clement, 
feeling no longer safe at Fondi, determined to retire 
to Naples, and begged Joanna to send an escort to 
convey him thither. 

Joanna, knowing that many of her subjects were 
loyal to Urban, was afraid that the antipope might 
meet with a hostile reception if he went to Castel 
Nuovo, where her court usually resided when she 
was in Naples ; so she had the island Castel del Ovo 
fitted up magnificently for his reception, and went 
to the expense of having a temporary bridge thrown 
across from the rock on which the grim old castle 
stood to the mainland. 

Clement and the Cardinals of his creation passed 
over this bridge in procession, making a grand 
display, and when they reached the great gateway 
of the castle met with a magnificent reception. 
There were assembled the brilliant Neapolitan court 
of barons and knights and other nobles, with their 

The Beginning of the Great Schism 289 

wives and daughters in attendance on the royal 
princes and princesses, all attired in full court 

Under the great gateway, the centre of this 
brilliant throng of "fair women and brave men," 
and the fairest among them all, stood Joanna, in 
the royal purple velvet robes always worn by the 
Neapolitan sovereign, with magnificent jewels upon 
her head and neck and arms ; a vision of majestic 
beauty, although no longer young. By her side 
stood Prince Otho, a handsome and imposing figure, 
and close by the three daughters of Joanna's dead 
sister Maria : Joanna, Duchess of Durazzo, wife of 
Robert of Artois ; Agnes, widow of the Prince of 
Verona ; and Margaret, wife of Charles Durazzo, 
the Queen's adopted daughter. 

As Clement dismounted Joanna genuflected twice, 
and then knelt to kiss his foot and receive his bless- 
ing, and the royal princes and princesses did the 
same, and when this ceremony was over the anti- 
pope went into the castle to partake of a magnificent 
feast prepared for him and his Cardinals. 

The festivities and entertainments which Joanna's 
superfluous generosity had prepared to welcome the 
disturber of the peace of Christendom lasted several 
days, and caused supreme discontent and disaffection 
in Naples, because, from the remoteness of the scene, 
the citizens were unable to see anything of them — 
and pageants are very dear to the Neapolitan heart. 

l 9 

290 The Beautiful Queen 

Joanna's usual wisdom had deserted her, in the 
first place, when, goaded by Urban's discourtesy and 
plots against her, she had chosen to support Clement, 
and, in the second place, when through fear lest the 
antipope should meet with any hostile demonstration 
she had installed him in the Castel del Ovo, and by 
so doing had disappointed her people of the festivities 
and pageants in which they revelled. From a reli- 
gious and from a political point of view, the usually 
wise Joanna committed a fatal mistake, one of the 
remoter consequences of which has been the obloquy 
which has ever since attached to her name, preju- 
dicing as it has done so many loyal Catholic writers 
against her, so that they were unable to judge her 

Nothing can excuse her conduct altogether in 
this matter, but at least nearly half Europe sinned 
with her, and no one had greater reason or stronger 
temptation to join Clement's party than she had. 
The Neapolitan people, who were too ignorant to 
enter into the merits and demerits of the contro- 
versy, and dared not rebel against Urban, interpreted 
Joanna's action in hiding the antipope in the Castel 
del Ovo as a sign of temerity on her part, and were 
in a state of ferment, when they were roused to 
open rebellion by an incident which occurred soon 
after Clement arrived. 

A working-man in the Piazza of Sadlers one 
day spoke disrespectfully of the Queen to a group 

The Beginning of the Great Schism 291 

of listeners in the hearing of a gentleman named 
Ravignano, who was riding past, and who stopped to 
reprove him. The man repeated his remarks, and 
his insolence provoked the rider to ride his horse 
at him with the intention of knocking him down ; 
but in the scuffle which ensued the sadler lost his 
eye. His nephew raised the cry of Urban VI., 
and the infuriated crowd flew to arms and pro- 
ceeded to pillage the houses of foreigners in the 
lower part of the city. 

The Abbot Barruto, whom Urban had recently 
created Archbishop of Naples, headed this mob, 
and then took possession of the cathedral, driving 
the family of the Clementine Archbishop out of 
the archiepiscopal palace. This tumult was soon 
quelled, and reprisals followed, in the course of 
which the houses occupied by the Archbishop 
Barruto and his suite were pulled down. 

These disturbances caused Clement to be seized 
with a fit of panic, in which he left Castel del 
Ovo and fled to Gaeta, and refused all Joanna's 
invitations and entreaties to return to Naples. 
From Gaeta he went to Avignon, which became 
the place of residence of the antipopes and their 

Joanna is Excommunicated 

LOUIS of Anjou, whom Joanna had decided 
to adopt as her heir in the place of Charles 
of Durazzo, was the eldest brother of Charles V., 
King of France, and, after the King, the most 
powerful person in that kingdom ; so it seemed 
to be an advantageous move on the Queen's part, 
particularly as the University of Paris had recently 
declared in favour of the antipope, Clement VII. 
Joanna hoped, by making the King's brother her 
heir, to enlist the services of France to defend her 
crown against the Pope and Charles of Durazzo. 
Charles had been for some time engaged in fighting 
for the King of Hungary, Joanna's old enemy, in 
the wars between the Venetians and the Genoese 
for maritime supremacy ; and Urban now thought 
the time had come for him to send for his wife 
and children, who were living with Joanna, so he 
commanded him to do so prior to advancing with 
his Hungarian troops into Naples. 


Joanna is Excommunicated 293 

Charles obeyed the Pope, and wrote to the Queen 
asking that his wife and children should be sent 
to him ; and Joanna, who must have felt this 
stroke acutely, with her usual generosity granted 
his request, although it was clearly against her own 
interest to do so, and sent her adopted daughter 
Margaret, with her little son Ladislaus, afterwards 
King of Naples, and his sister with a safe escort 
to Friuli, where Charles was then quartered. The 
Queen was destined never again to see Margaret of 
Durazzo, whom she had loved and cherished as 
her own daughter — a contingency she probably 
foresaw when with a heavy heart she parted from 

Meanwhile Urban's unpopularity was so great 
in Rome that the mob had attacked the Vatican 
with sticks and stones ; but, nothing daunted, the 
Pope, who with all his faults knew no fear, vested 
himself in his full pontificals and boldly showed 
himself to the people, trusting that the sight ot 
him, whom they regarded as the Vicar of Christ, 
would strike terror into their hearts and terrify 
them into submission — as it did, and the tumult 

This was in January, 1380, and in the following 
April St. Catherine of Siena died, and by her 
death the Pope lost his earthly guardian angel, 
who alone of all his subjects knew how to control 
his violent temper, and who had always urged him 

294 The Beautiful Queen 

to be patient and merciful with Joanna and his 
other enemies, while at the same time she 
had encouraged him to defend his throne against 

Joanna's conduct in taking so prominent a part 
in the election and recognition of Robert of Geneva 
as the antipope had naturally incensed Urban more 
and more with her, and a week after St. Catherine's 
death he issued a Bull of Excommunication against 

In it he denounced " Joanna, formerly Queen of 
the Two Sicilies for her iniquities, wickedness, and 
enormous excesses, committed against Us and the 
Roman Church, and We declare her to be a schis- 
matical, heretical, and blasphemous conspirator against 
Us and guilty of the crime of ' lese-majeste,' and We 
deprive her of and depose her from all her dignities, 
honours, kingdoms, and lands, which We confiscate 
all and each, and We absolve from their fidelity and 
obedience to her all who have sworn allegiance to 
her, and none shall be held bound to obey her or 
to pay any debts due to her. And We inhibit 
under pain of excommunication all individual 
princes, dukes, barons, and nobles, and under 
pain of an interdict all communities and Univer- 
sities, from obedience to her. Given at St. Peter's, 
Rome, April 29th, in the third year of Our 

At the same time Urban fulminated a sentence 

Joanna is Excommunicated 295 

of deposition against Bernard of Rhodes, the 
Clementine usurper of the Archbishopric of Naples, 
and confirmed the Abbot Barruto in the office in 
his place, and he excommunicated Onerato Cajetano 
and Rinaldo Orsini, Count of Nola, and his brother 

The Pope now proceeded to preach a crusade 
against Joanna ; but as this produced but little money 
and he was at this time nearly bankrupt, he seized 
the gold and silver images in the churches of Rome, 
and the jewels which adorned the shrines, and a 
great deal of the altar plate as well, and sold them 
or had them melted down. 

About this time Charles Durazzo entered Italy 
at the head of 8,000 Hungarian soldiers, besides 
a large body of German and Italian infantry, who 
pillaged and destroyed the defenceless towns and 
villages they passed through, and would have be- 
sieged Florence if Sir John Hawkwood and his 
companies had not intervened and made a com- 
promise by which the English knight and his 
followers entered Durazzo's service, and the Flor- 
entines agreed to lend Durazzo 40,000 florins — 
which he had never the smallest intention of re- 
funding — and promised not to assist Joanna. 

In the month of May Charles arrived in Rome, 
and was afFectionately received by the Pope, but 
forced to agree to the conditions upon which Urban 
offered him the crown of Naples, which as we know 

296 The Beautiful Queen 

were that the greater part of the kingdom should 
belong to his nephew, Butillo Prignano. Urban 
then proceeded formally to invest Durazzo with the 
Two Sicilies on the above conditions, to which 
Charles agreed, inwardly resolving that he would 
never fulfil them. In return Urban bestowed upon 
him all the treasure he had realised by the spoliation 
of the Roman churches, and, fortified with these 
sinews of war, Charles now advanced on Naples. 

While Charles is thus spreading terror throughout 
Italy, by the excesses of his barbarian Hungarians 
and lawless freebooters, let us turn and see what 
steps the unhappy, excommunicated Queen and 
her husband were taking to defend her throne and 

In a document dated July 29th, 1380, signed 
at Castel del Ovo, Joanna declared that she deprived 
Charles Durazzo of all pretensions to the inheritance 
of her kingdom, and that in his place she had adopted 
Louis, Duke of Anjou and Turenne, Count of 
Mans, and Lord of Montpellier, brother to Charles 
V., King of France, as heir to all her dominions in 
Naples, Provence, and Piedmont for himself and 
all his descendants. 

This action displeased many of her Neapolitan 
subjects, who had known Charles from his cradle, 
and were proud of his military exploits, and in spite 
of his faults were attached to him, whereas Louis of 
Anjou was a stranger to them. From this time 

Joanna is Excommunicated 297 

Joanna's kingdom was torn with dissensions, political 
as well as religious — between not only the two 
parties of the Urbanists and Clementines, but the 
adherents of Charles of Durazzo and their opponents, 
the followers of Joanna and Louis of Anjou, also. 

Among those who now deserted Joanna were 
the two Orsini, the Counts of Nola. In the midst 
of all this trouble, confusion was rendered " worse 
confounded" by a tumult in the piazzas of the city, 
between the nobles. Those of Capuana and Nido 
pretended that they had the right conceded to them 
by the late King Robert to precede all the other 
barons ; whereas the barons of Portanova, Porto, 
and S. Arcangelo maintained, on the contrary, that 
they had the precedence of the most ancient nobles. 
This controversy led to battles in the streets and 
to much bloodshed, and on August 7th the whole 
city was in a state of alarm ; but Prince Otho, at the 
risk of his own life, accompanied by some other 
barons, joined in the fray, and succeeded in quelling 
the disturbance. 

Joanna pardoned the principal offenders, who had 
by their foolish ambition to precede each other 
placed the throne in danger ; but the Queen was 
ever clement and merciful to a fault. 

Unfortunately for Joanna, the death of the French 
King, Charles V., took place on September 16th 
in the same year, and this delayed the advent of 
Louis of Anjou, who was declared Regent of France, 

298 The Beautiful Queen 

and was obliged to remain in Paris for some time ; 
so he was unable to come at once to her aid, although 
it was now in his own interest to do so. 

The antipope Clement confirmed Joanna's adop- 
tion of Louis, and had the insolence to bestow upon 
him the Papal States, which were in the possession 
of the true Pope, Urban VI. 

As time drew on Charles approached nearer to 
Naples, and his forces were daily increased by 
deserters from Joanna's party, many of whom were 
terrified by the sentence of excommunication pro- 
nounced against her by Urban, and, fearing for their 
spiritual welfare, declared for him and Charles of 

Nothing daunted by her falling fortunes and the 
perils which threatened her throne and life, Joanna 
took her courage in both hands, like the brave 
woman she was, and determined to make a bold 
fight for it. She placed great confidence in the 
valour of her husband Otho, although his adherents 
were few compared to those of Charles, and she 
trusted also in the false promises of her Neapolitan 
barons, many of whom ultimately deserted her. But 
her greatest hope was in her Provencal fleet, which 
she had summoned to her aid ; but this took a long 
time in days when there were no telegraph-wires 
to communicate her wishes to them, and only the 
wind and their oars to bring them when summoned. 
When matters became more desperate, and 


p. 298] 

Joanna is Excommunicated 299 

Durazzo was fast approaching Naples, she sent 
the Count of Caserta to France, to entreat her 
new heir, Louis of Anjou, to hasten to her aid 
as quickly as possible, and he did his best to respond 
to her appeal. He set about collecting a large 
army; but the long distance from Naples and the 
difficulty of finding provision to feed his men, 
when there was no such thing as a commissariat, 
delayed his arrival and gave rise to the Neapolitan 
proverb, " The lilies of France will not take root a 
second time in Italy." 

The key to the kingdom of Naples was San 
Germano, and here Otho, who was considered 
one of the first captains of his day, prepared to 
dispute Charles's advance. But many of the 
Neapolitan barons who had promised to join him 
there failed to keep their promises, and he was 
obliged to retire and leave the mountain passes 
open and fall back on Naples, where a body of 
mercenaries in Joanna's pay reinforced him. 

Durazzo followed him so quickly that on July 1 7th, 
1 38 1, the two armies encamped at five in the even- 
ing under the walls of the city, so close together 
that the knights in the rival forces could recognise 
each other. 

Charles had with him the traitor, the Duke of 
Andria, the Papal legate, Gentilis de Sangro, and 
Urban's nephew Francis or Butillo Prignano, now 
endowed with the empty tide of Prince of Capua, 

3°° The Beautiful Queen 

for the title was all he ever enjoyed from that 
principality. Durazzo had also with him many of 
the prominent Neapolitan barons, a whole band 
of adventurers and malefactors, and some of the 
principal municipal officers of Naples. Otho had 
fewer barons in his army, as Joanna had kept most 
of those whom she believed to be faithful to her 
cause in the city to quell disturbances there if any 
should arise. 

For three hours the two armies remained in sight 
of each other without attempting to fight. Charles 
was afraid to give battle to Otho, though his army 
was much the greater, lest the Neapolitans should 
fall on his rear while the Prince of Brunswick was 
engaging him in front. Otho had succeeded in 
getting Charles between him and the city ; but this 
manoeuvre was afterwards frustrated by the treachery 
of some citizens belonging to Urban's party, who 
managed to climb over the walls and told Durazzo 
the citizens were divided into two parties — one for 
Urban and him, and the other for Joanna and 
Clement ; and they offered to conduct a few of his 
followers across the sands to the Porta del Conceria, 
an unguarded gate which was supposed to be 
sufficiently protected by the sea. 

Durazzo selected a few of his soldiers who could 
swim, and sent them to this gate, which they reached 
by swimming — some accounts say by wading through 
the waves — and, finding it unlocked as well as 

Joanna is Excommunicated 301 

unguarded, they passed through and made straight 
for the market-place. Here they raised the cry 
of " Viva il Re Carlo e il Papa Urbano ! " and were 
immediately joined by some of Charles's old friends 
who were also Urbanists, and together they made 
their way, fighting, to the Porta del Mercato, before 
which Durazzo was encamped, and, before Joanna's 
adherents could defend it, they opened it, and 
Charles and a large body of his troops entered 
the city. 

No sooner were the Hungarian soldiers under 
Charles inside Naples than they strongly fortified 
the gate by which they had entered, and marched 
to the Porta Capuana and placed another guard 
there, and then proceeded to Porta Reale, which 
was opposite to Otho's army, and guarded it against 
their entrance. 

Otho soon saw what was going on, and immediately 
attempted to cut up the rearguard of the enemy ; but 
he was only in time to destroy the band of Neapoli- 
tans under Cola Mostone — who had deserted Joanna 
— which he annihilated. The city was now in the 
greatest confusion. Joanna's party were vainly 
fighting against Charles's army and the Neapolitan 
people, and those of the minor nobility and gentry 
who could effect their escape fled to the surrounding 

Here we must pause to tell what had become 
of Joanna during this siege. She who had on 

3°2 The Beautiful Queen 

former occasions put on her armour, mounted her 
horse, and commanded her own troops — where was 
she now ? And where was Louis of Anjou, and where 
was the Provencal fleet on which her chief hopes 
were based (for by them if necessary she might 
escape to Provence), and her ever faithful and loyal 
Provencal subjects — where were all these ? 

Joanna is Besieged 

THE Castel Nuovo, in which the Queen usually 
resided when in her metropolis, had been 
newly fortified and strengthened in the case of 
eventualities, and here Joanna and her ladies-in- 
waiting retired when the siege of the city began, 
with sufficient provisions laid in to last them seven 

With Joanna were her two nieces — her eldest niece, 
also named Joanna, who by virtue of her primogeni- 
ture enjoyed the title of Duchess of Durazzo, which 
she inherited from her mother, and her sister Agnes, 
the widow of Can della Scala, Prince of Verona. The 
Duchess of Durazzo was very rich, partly by inherit- 
ing a handsome patrimony, partly through the wealth 
she had accumulated by her parsimony and miserly 

Before the siege began the Queen had asked the 
Duchess to lend her some of her money, to cover 
part of the expenses of the war, and to provide for 


304 The Beautiful Queen 

their defence, her own exchequer being low, and she 
consequently in great need of money ; but the 
younger Joanna refused, although her own safety 
was at stake: her love of money was so great, that 
she preferred to face the danger which threatened 
her rather than part with it. 

When the news of Charles's entrance into Naples 
was brought to the Queen she was besieged at the 
same time with appeals for help and protection from a 
number of noble ladies and their children, who, with 
many of the Clementine clergy and some of the 
worthiest of the old barons of her kingdom, implored 
her to admit them inside the castle with her and her 

Joanna knew that if she granted this appeal her 
provisions would only last one month instead of 
seven, but she also knew that if she refused the 
request of these helpless women and children and 
old barons, and sent them away, she would be sending 
them not only to death, but to endure horrors far 
worse than death, at the hands of Charles's barbarian 
Hungarians and lawless adventurers, and from the 
ferocity of the mob and the infuriated populace. 

She could not steel her heart to abandon these 
delicate women and helpless children to save her 
own life, so, with her characteristic but in this case 
fatal generosity, she admitted them all to share her 
last refuge. 

We are not told what the other less generous 

Joanna is Besieged 3°5 

Joanna, the Duchess of Durazzo, said to this action ; 
but, judging from her character, she was, we should 
say, unlikely to approve it, and may have remon- 
strated with her royal aunt. But if so she was 
overruled, and all the petitioners were admitted 
to the castle. 

Joanna's one great and only hope now was in the 
arrival of her Provencal fleet before her supplies 
were exhausted, and at the beginning of the siege 
this hope was very strong and well-founded. She 
expected it every day to arrive and bear her away to 
Avignon and the protection of the antipope, Clement, 
until her newly adopted heir, Louis of Anjou, should 
come with his army from France and expel Charles 
of Durazzo. 

But day after day passed and no fleet arrived, day 
after day the besieged inhabitants of the castle scanned 
the horizon from its towers in the hope of detecting 
the sails of the belated galleys, on which all their 
hopes were based, but all in vain : the days length- 
ened into weeks and no sign of them rewarded the 
anxious watchers. 

And daily the rations grew smaller and smaller, 
and the Queen and her nieces, the court and the 
garrison, and all the women and children, priests and 
barons she had admitted to share her fortune were 
beginning to feel the pangs of hunger. Presently 
they were reduced to feed on carrion, and were in 
consequence assailed with sickness, and still no sign 


306 The Beautiful Queen 

of the Provencal fleet gladdened their aching eyes, 
and anxiety gave place to despair among the weaker- 
hearted ; but Joanna was courageous as ever, and 
endured all these privations bravely. 

Then one day her niece, Joanna, Duchess of 
Durazzo, when they were reduced to extreme hunger, 
put all her gold and jewels into a large vase, and 
carried it into the Queen's presence and laid it at 
her feet. Joanna looked mournfully at the treasure, 
which, had it been offered to her when she asked 
for the loan of it in her necessity, might have saved 
all their lives, but was useless now, since there was 
no possibility of exchanging it for food of any kind, 
and putting the useless offering aside, said sadly : 
" A sack of wheat would be more precious to 
me now, my niece, than all this treasure. Let 
that thief Charles, whom you have served so well, 
have it." 

Meanwhile Prince Otho, who was at his wits' end 
to know what to do for the best to help his besieged 
Queen, endeavoured to entice Charles Durazzo out 
of Naples, to which end he returned to the walls, 
and destroyed the aqueduct which supplied the city 
with water, in the hope that Durazzo would be 
forced, through want of the first necessity of life, to 
come out and give him battle. Durazzo, however, 
Was too wise to do anything of the kind. More- 
over, the Neapolitans who had joined him showed 
him many springs of fresh water which were in the 

Joanna is Besieged 3°7 

city, and from them he learnt that most of the 
houses were empty, the inhabitants having made 
good their escape by flight. They further counselled 
him not to be so rash as to make a sortie, and per- 
haps lose all he had already gained in one day, when 
it was certain that the Queen and her garrison could 
not hold out much longer, and must soon be forced 
by the pangs of hunger to surrender. 

Charles took this advice and remained in the city, 
but he was not idle. He knew Castel Nuovo was far 
too strong for him to take it by storm, so he did 
not waste the strength of his soldiers by any 
vain attempts, but contented himself with address- 
ing the people and exhorting them to submit to 
him and acknowledge him, whom they had known 
so long as the heir to the throne, as Joanna's suc- 
cessor ; and little by little the Neapolitans, or the 
greater number of them, joined his party. 

The fact that Charles was supported by the true 
Pope, Urban, and that the Queen had been excom- 
municated by him and had joined the cause of the 
antipope, Clement, had much to do with this defec- 
tion of her subjects. 

Prince Otho, finding that his attempt to draw 
Charles had failed, and that he was for the present 
powerless to help Joanna, retired with his forces to 

Joanna, who was now on the verge of starvation, 
still hoped against hope for the arrival of the long- 

308 The Beautiful Queen 

looked-for galleys, which failed to come and rescue 
her; and seeing that her ladies and the women 
and children, and the garrison, were suffering all the 
horrors of a siege when the provisions are all but 
exhausted, began to think of surrender. She could 
not see all these her dependents perish, even if she 
were willing to die of starvation herself ; so she de- 
cided to send her pronotary, Ugo de Sanseverino 
to Charles to try to come to some terms or arrange 
a truce. 

This she did ; and Durazzo, who was nearly related 
to Sanseverino, and knew him to be one of the most 
powerful barons in the kingdom, received him well. 
But the utmost concession he would grant the Queen 
was five more days, at the close of which, if she were 
not relieved, she was to surrender ; but he promised 
that in this case she should not be removed from Castel 
Nuovo, but should be served there by her usual suite. 

Durazzo's game now was to get Joanna to surrender 
willingly, and to acknowledge him once more as her 
heir ; and with this object in view he sent a deputa- 
tion of nobles to her to reassure her of his filial 
affection and submissive reverence for her. And to 
emphasise these assurances — in which he could hardly 
expect his adopted mother to place much faith, see- 
ing he had so long been plotting to seize her throne — 
he sent her every day fruit and poultry for her table, 
and gave orders that she was to be supplied abun- 
dantly with all she required for her own use. 

Joanna is Besieged 3°9 

If the besieged inhabitants of the castle had 
watched anxiously for the expected ships from 
Marseilles before, they now spent every hour of the 
five days of truce in looking anxiously from every 
available window and tower for some sign of their 
approach — but in vain. 

Joanna, whose faith had always been very strong, 
was now a very devout woman, and spent much of 
her time in prayer before the altar in her private 
chapel in the castle. But neither did prayer seem to 
avail her, as far as the hoped-for fleet was concerned, 
for it did not make its appearance, and when the 
fifth day of the truce dawned there was still no sign 
of it. 

During the truce Joanna had managed to send to 
Aversa to conjure her husband to make one more 
effort to rescue her; and on this fifth day Otho led 
his forces through the road of Piedigrotta, past the 
island of Ischia, till he reached the barriers Durazzo 
had erected before the Castel Nuovo, and tried to 
throw provisions into the castle. 

This led to a pitched battle between him and 
Charles's soldiers, both sides fighting with such 
desperate valour that for a long time the result was 
very doubtful. The combatants were so close to 
the castle that the Queen was able to watch the 
fight from the windows. Perhaps Otho may have 
caught sight of her majestic figure — at any rate, 
her proximity and the knowledge of her captivity 

3 ro The Beautiful Queen 

and sufferings so maddened him that he made a 
desperate attempt to seize the standard of Charles, 
which was surrounded by the bravest and most 
accomplished knights, who had fought with Durazzo 
in the wars of Hungary and Venice. 

Otho's men, many of whom were recently re- 
cruited, were unable to cope with these well-seasoned 
soldiers, and he soon found himself alone in the 
thickest of the fight, where he received several 
wounds ; but he still fought bravely on. The 
thought of his beautiful Queen and the threatened 
loss of her throne stimulated him, who was known 
as one of the bravest soldiers of his time ; but 
fate was against him. His horse accidentally fell, 
and the brave and wounded Prince was thrown to 
the ground and taken prisoner in sight of Joanna, 
who is believed to have witnessed this last blow 
to her hopes. 

With Otho were Baldassero of Brunswick, his 
brother ; Robert, Count of Artois, the husband of 
the Duchess of Durazzo, who now enjoyed the 
title of Duke of Durazzo ; the Count of Ariano, and 
Jacimo Zurlo, the head of the Neapolitan gentry. 
When Otho was taken prisoner his troops were 
seized with such a panic that all the efforts of 
Baldassero of Brunswick and Robert of Artois failed 
to rally them, and they ignominiously fled in all 
directions. Many of them dismounted and left 
their horses loose, and climbed up the sides of the 

Joanna is Besieged 3 11 

mountain upon which the Castel St. Elmo stands, 
to take refuge within its thick walls. 

At the time a gale was blowing and a very heavy 
rain was falling, which prevented Durazzo's soldiers 
from following them ; but the horses they had left 
behind were seized by the Neapolitan people, who 
spent hours in catching them. 

The battle was now completely lost. Otho's 
principal captains, Baldassero of Brunswick, Robert 
of Artois, the Count of Ariano, and Zurlo succeeded 
in escaping, but a good many of the nobles who had 
relations inside the city joined them, on receiving 
assurances of safety, and went over to the enemy's 
side, as Joanna's cause was now considered hopeless. 

This contest, so disastrous to Joanna, took place 
on August 25th ; and on the next morning she sent 
her surrender to Charles, as there was still no sign 
of the ships from Marseilles, and the time of the 
truce had expired. 

When Charles reached the castle on the morning 
of the 26th he found the Queen, who — torn with 
anxiety for her wounded husband, now a prisoner 
in her enemy's hands — had passed a terrible night, 
walking in the garden, wishing perhaps to enjoy a 
little fresh air before she herself was made a prisoner. 

Her majestic dignity was not without its effect 
on her ungrateful conqueror ; and partly from long 
habit, pardy perhaps from a sense of shame, he fell 
on his knees at the feet of his adopted mother, as 

3 12 The Beautiful Queen 

though she were still his sovereign instead of his 
prisoner. Joanna looked sadly down on her former 
heir, whom it is said she now hated, and said : 

" Charles, I will not enumerate all the benefits 
I have bestowed upon you, for it would ill become 
a captive to humiliate her conqueror. Heaven and 
earth behold us and will judge between us. Re- 
member only my regal dignity, if anything sacred 
can still find a place in your memory, and treat 
my husband with the respect due to a prince of 
his rank." 

Charles rose from his knees, and made fervent 
protestations of reverence and love for Joanna, 
assuring her that he would never have attempted 
to snatch her kingdom from her if he had not 
been persuaded that Otho intended to dispute it 
with him in case of her death. 

Joanna, who was the same age as Otho, and of 
a very good constitution, knew what value to 
attach to this false excuse for conduct which was 
inexcusable. She commanded her anger, and, with 
her usual royal dignity, eloquently begged him to 
treat Prince Otho honourably, as befitted his rank ; 
and implored him to have mercy on all the captives 
in the castle, and especially on the Clementine 
clergy, who feared the punishment their schismatical 
conduct would draw on them from Urban, whose 
violent temper was well known, and who could not 
be expected to show them much mercy. 

From an early woodcut portrait, by kind permission of Mr. St. Clair Baddeley. 

p. 312] 

Joanna is Besieged 313 

Charles, though now he had acquired the kingdom 
of Naples by force, was not content with this, but 
wanted also the rich inheritance of Provence, and, 
knowing that more was to be obtained of Joanna 
by kindness and consideration than by threats or 
attempts at frightening her into submission, trusted 
that he might still be able to delude her into making 
him once more her heir. 

With this object in view he gave orders that, 
although his prisoner, she was to be treated with 
regal honours, and approached with all the customary 
forms, and attended by her usual officers and ladies- 

On the fourth day after her surrender the long- 
looked-for Provencal fleet appeared, too late to be 
of any use, only adding, as it must have done, 
fresh bitterness to the anguish of the unhappy 
Queen when she saw its masts on the horizon. It 
was composed of twelve armed galleys, commanded 
by Angeluccio di Rosarno and Ludovico Antonio, 
Count of Caserta. Charles, as soon as he was 
notified of their arrival, went up to the castle to 
have another interview with Joanna, and endeavour, 
by fawning upon her, to persuade her to make 
him her heir. 

He addressed Joanna as his Queen and beloved 
mother, renewed all his professions of loyalty, and 
saying she must now be convinced of his sincerity, 
he humbly begged her to nominate him heir of all 

3H The Beautiful Queen 

her dominions in Provence, and to put all the 
foreign troops, which had at last so tardily arrived, 
under his command. 

Joanna, who had no longer the least faith in the 
professions of Charles, and knew that the result 
of any document she might sign would be to lead 
her either to the scaffold or to lifelong captivity, 
could not be induced by promises or persuasions 
to grant this request. She knew too that her only 
hope — and that a very faint one — was in Louis of 
Anjou, whom she had already nominated her heir, 
and to offend him by making Charles her successor 
would be to cut off her only hope of release from 
captivity and restoration to her throne. 

She inwardly resolved that she would be faithful 
to Louis of Anjou, and not risk alienating him 
for ever from her cause, but, pretending to believe 
Charles, she said to him : 

" Give my captains a safe pass, that they may land 
and come to me and take my orders." 

Charles, deceived by her composure, and thinking 
that he had at last prevailed upon her to acknow- 
ledge him again as her heir, acceded to her request, 
and granted a safe-conduct to the Count of Caserta 
and the chosen deputies from the Provencal galleys, 
and consented that they should have an audience 
of Joanna in his absence. 

The Captive Queen 

JOANNA was celebrated for her oratory ; we 
have seen her pleading her own cause before 
Pope Clement VI. and his Cardinals in the Con- 
sistory-court at Avignon with consummate skill, and 
on other occasions we have heard her haranguing 
her councillors, but never perhaps was she more 
eloquent than now, when the Count of Caserta and 
the Provencal barons were admitted to her presence. 
Neither Charles nor any of his followers were present : 
only Joanna and her court were in the room when 
the French deputies were introduced. 

Traces of the terrible privations and anxiety she 
had gone through were visible on the Queen's beauti- 
ful face, on which both mental and physical suffering 
had left their marks ; but her customary majestic 
grace and dignity had not deserted her, and with 
them she greeted the Provencal subjects who had 
come too late to save her throne. If they expected 


316 The Beautiful Queen 

reproach for their fatal delay they were not dis- 
appointed, for they were received with it. 

" Why, my friends, why have you so long delayed 
to succour me ? I have suffered what no woman 
and hardly any man can bear. By your negligence 
I have been forced to eat the vilest food, the putrid 
flesh of the lowest animals, and have been forced 
to surrender myself into the hands of a cruel enemy 
and become a slave. It is now too late, too late 
to help, but it is not too late for revenge. If you 
have not forgotten the good deeds of my house, 
and my true love for you, and the many benefits 
you have received from me ; if you have any 
remembrance of your oath of fidelity to me, then 
I conjure you by that solemn allegiance, never in 
any manner or at any distance of time acknowledge 
as your lord that ungrateful robber who from a 
Queen has made me a captive slave. 

" Give not yourselves up to that traitor who has 
pushed me from my throne. If ever it shall be 
told you that I have made him my heir, believe 
it not. If any writings are shown you to that 
effect, they are either false or forced from me 
without my consent. 

" My will is that you own for your lord and 
master Louis of Anjou, my son and my heir, on 
whom I have bestowed the inheritance, not only 
of Provence and my Ultramontane States, but of 
this kingdom of Naples also. Him I have chosen 

The Captive Queen 317 

to revenge this treason and violence against the 
person of his unhappy mother. Hasten to him, 
obey him truly and constantly. I do not beg 
this of you. I command it earnestly and solemnly, 
for I can still do it, since I am still your Princess, 
placed by God over you to rule you. Go then to 
Louis, Duke of Anjou, and render your obedience 
to him. Take no more thought for me but to 
perform my funeral rites and to pray for my soul." 

Deeply moved by these words of their fallen 
sovereign, the Provencal barons, with the tears 
streaming down their weather-beaten cheeks, excused 
their apparent negligence in not having arrived 
sooner, testified to their intense grief at her cap- 
tivity, and vowing solemnly to obey her commands, 
they took their leave, and hastened back to their 
ships, to set sail at once for France to bring Louis 
of Anjou to avenge his adopted mother's wrongs. 
The Count of Caserta, who had ever been faithful 
to Joanna, went with them, protesting his willingness 
to die for her cause. 

Durazzo returned to the Queen on the departure 
of the French barons, to hear the result of the 
conference, which was very different from what he 
had anticipated, and he learnt from Joanna's own 
lips that she had performed her last act of 
sovereignty and, as her honour demanded, urged 
her Provencal subjects to be true and loyal to 
Louis of Anjou, her present heir. 

3 l8 The Beautiful Queen 

Louis of Anjou was the most accomplished of 
the three splendid sons of John the Good, King of 
France. The late King Charles V. was the eldest 
of these three brothers, Louis, Duke of Anjou, the 
second, Philip was the third. They were all three 
highly cultivated men, fond of splendour and great 
possessions, and of art, of which they were liberal 
patrons ; but Louis was the most celebrated for his 
valour, and also for his magnificent collections of 
pictures, china, plate, jewels, books, and valuable 
MSS. He took great delight in all these, but he 
parted with many of his treasures to raise money 
for his expedition to Naples to secure his Sicilian 

Charles's wrath at finding Joanna had outwitted 
him, and defeated the object he had had in view 
when he granted her an interview with the French 
deputies, was very great ; and when he saw the 
masts of the French galleys disappear below the 
horizon, as they were hastening to help his rival, 
he was furious, and determined to try the effect of 
harsh treatment upon his victim. With this end 
in view, he first of all had the Queen removed to 
the Castel del Ovo under a strong guard, as a 
prisoner, but he allowed some of her ladies-in- 
waiting to go with her. 

Her niece Agnes, widow of the Prince of Verona, 
who with her elder sister, Joanna, Duchess of 
Durazzo, were taken prisoners with the Queen, 

The Captive Queen 319 

was now married to the son of the Duke of Andria 
by Charles, who, to promote his own interests, 
bestowed her upon one of the Queen's greatest 
enemies like a captive slave, without consulting 

Later on, when Charles had offended Urban, 
and it was rumoured that the Pope thought of 
deposing him in favour of this son of the Duke 
of Andria, who by this marriage had a double 
claim to the succession to the throne, Charles 
caused Agnes and her two innocent children, and 
Joanna of Durazzo, to be thrown into a dungeon, 
where they all died of starvation and misery, some 
say of poison. 

The Queen had surrendered at the end of August, 
and on November nth, St. Martin's day, Charles 
and his wife Margaret were solemnly crowned in 
the Cathedral of Naples, after taking the oaths of 
allegiance to Urban as the true Pope. When 
Charles was led in procession round the city after 
his coronation, under a canopy of state, the Duke 
of Andria, who had not yet deserted him, held his 
bridle on one side, and the Count of Conversano 
on the other. Before six months had passed, both 
these noblemen had gone back to Joanna's cause. 

Great efforts were made to restore cheerfulness 
to Naples after the coronation by means of banquets 
and pageants, and all the shows in which the 
Neapolitans were known to delight ; but so many 

320 The Beautiful Queen 

families were in mourning for their relatives who 
had perished in the war, and so many houses were 
empty, as their owners had fled the city, that all the 
rejoicings did little to dispel the general gloom. 

Very soon Charles found that it was very difficult 
for a usurper to satisfy the claims of his partisans, 
and impossible to content the ambition of his sup- 
porters, and the fickle Neapolitans soon began to 
return to their old allegiance. 

The Counts of Ariano, Fondi, and Aversa had 
remained in arms for Joanna, and they were now 
joined by that rebel, the Duke of Andria, the San- 
severini family, and the Counts of Conversano, 
Lece, and Montenovo. The Sanseverini and the 
Duke of Andria were deadly foes, nevertheless 
they now acted in concert, Charles having estranged 
Andria because he was unable to give back all his 
former possessions of which Joanna had deprived 
him, and the Sanseverini were jealous and disgusted 
with Charles for giving Agnes of Verona as wife 
to the son of the Duke of Andria. 

But where, it may well be asked, was Louis of 
Anjou all this time ? For his delay in coming to 
Joanna's aid was partly the cause of the final 
tragedy. That delay was in the first instance un- 
avoidable, as his post of Regent, to which he was 
appointed on the death of Charles V., rendered 
his presence in Paris as necessary as it was un- 
doubtedly agreeable to him. In June, 1 3 8 1 , Louis, 

The Captive Queen 321 

who seems to have been enjoying himself very 
much at the time in his new position, received, 
through the Count of Caserta, Joanna's desperate 
appeal for help in her extremity, and, having called 
a Council together, he decided to leave France im- 
mediately for Naples and claim his inheritance. 
Then came the news of Charles's successes, and 
Louis realised that he had a kingdom to reconquer, 
as well as a frontier to defend, before he could 
take possession of his Sicilian inheritance. Under 
these difficulties his zeal to go to help Joanna seems 
to have cooled considerably, and after vacillating a 
great deal, as fresh news from Naples reached him, 
France decided to abandon Joanna to her fate. 

This was in October, and after a while Louis, 
tired of doing nothing, and regretting that he had 
let his Sicilian crown slip through his fingers, entered 
into correspondence with the Neapolitan ambassador, 
and went to Avignon to consult with the antipope, 
Clement VII., and to try to get the Provencals to 
acknowledge him as their prince, and help him to 
win the Sicilian throne. 

He stayed four months in Avignon, and received 
the encouragement of Clement to proceed to Italy, 
and on March 1st Clement invested him with the 
title of Duke of Calabria, reserved for the heir- 
presumptive to the throne of Naples. 

He spent another three months collecting troops 
in Provence, and having been joined by the Duke 


322 The Beautiful Queen 

of Savoy, at last, after all these maddening delays, 
he set sail for Naples at the head of a large army, 
amid the shouts of the Provencals of " Vive Pape 
Clement VII., Vive Madame la Reine Jeanne I., 
Vive le due de Calabrie ! " 

While he is leaving Marseilles with his splendid 
troops we must return to Naples to see what was 
going on there, and in so doing we must not forget 
that the Neapolitan revolution was a double re- 
volution — it was religious as well as political. In 
acknowledging the usurper Charles III., so wrongly 
named "of Peace," the Neapolitans acknowledged 
the authority of the true Pope, Urban VI., and in 
deposing and deserting Joanna they condemned 
Clement VII. as antipope, and threw off their allegi- 
ance to both their temporal and spiritual sovereign, 
though the latter was a usurper. 

There had entered into Naples with Charles, the 
Papal legate, Gentile de Sangro, who, if the 
Urbanists in Naples had suffered under Joanna, 
now immediately began to rule the Clementine 
clergy with a rod of iron. In one day, according 
to Urban's secretary, de Niem, he dismissed no 
fewer than thirty-two Clementine abbots, bishops, 
and archbishops ; and not content with depriving 
them of their benefices, he cast them into prison, 
and those who refused to acknowledge Urban were 
sent to the scaffold. Among these last was the 
Archbishop of Salerno. 

The Captive Queen 323 

A remarkable scene took place in the Church 
of St. Clare in Naples. The two Clementine 
cardinals who were taken prisoners with Joanna 
were led into this church among a vast crowd of 
people, and one of them, Cardinal de GifFone, in- 
timidated by the presence of Charles of Durazzo 
and the Legate, di Sangro, denied the antipope, 
Clement, and burnt his hat, while the robes and 
hat of his companion, Cardinal d'ltro, were con- 
sumed in the same flames. After being thus 
publicly degraded, together with some other Clemen- 
tine prelates, they were cast into prison, where 
Cardinal d'ltro died. 

To strengthen his position in Naples, Urban now 
created a large number of Neapolitan cardinals, 
some of whom, later on, when Durazzo had in- 
curred Urban's displeasure — their patience with the 
Pope's conduct being exhausted — conspired against 
Urban, with the idea of putting him under restraint 
as mad, or of delivering him into Durazzo's hands. 
In reprisal for this, Urban on discovering it put 
six of them into irons in the cells at Nocera, and 
then subjected them to torture. 

Gentile de Sangro, who had himself tortured the 
Clementine clergy, was one of these six victims 
of Urban's cruelty, and, being an enormously stout 
man, fainted when the executioners lifted him from 
the ground with cords on to the rack, on which 
he was thrice stretched. 

3 2 4 The Beautiful Queen 

The old Cardinal of Venice each time that he was 
tortured exclaimed, " Christ suffered for us." The 
same authority, de Niem, says that the man chosen 
to apply these tortures was a Genoese pirate well 
known for his hatred of clerics. 

Historians differ as to the date on which Durazzo 
caused Joanna to be removed from Castel del Ovo, 
for fear that her presence in Naples should cause 
a rebellion in her favour ; but it seems most probable 
that it took place about March 28, 1382, and not, 
as Giannone says, a few days after her surrender, 
when, as we have said, she was taken to the Castel 
del Ovo. 

The Castle of Muro 1 was a great, gloomy fortress, 
situated in Durazzo's own territory, inherited from 
his father, in the province of the Basilicata, to the 
south-east of Naples, and on this account it was from 
his point of view a much safer place of detention 
for the captive Queen. It stood in a wild, barren, 
mountainous district in an isolated situation, not 
easy of access, and as Joanna approached its gloomy 
towers her heart must have sunk within her. 

She had been treated fairly well on the whole at 
Castel del Ovo, during her six or seven months' 
imprisonment there ; but now her guard was made 
much more strict, and composed in part of the 
Hungarian soldiers, who hated her. Her nieces had 

1 The author of " Rulers of the South " says he knows no castle 
which gives so good an idea of baronial life in the fourteenth 
century as this fortress of Muro. 

The Captive Queen 325 

been separated from her in Naples, but now she 
was deprived of her ladies-in-waiting also ; and she 
especially felt the loss of Clemence di Collennucci, 
a young and pretty daughter of one of the Neapolitan 
barons, to whom she was much attached, and who 
was one of her maids-of-honour. Before Joanna was 
taken away from Castel del Ovo, Clemence was torn, 
weeping bitterly, from the unhappy Queen, and no 
entreaties would induce Charles to permit her to 
accompany her beloved mistress to her new prison. 

It is said, however, that love found out a way 
to circumvent Charles ; and a few days after Joanna 
had been removed from Naples, Clemence, with 
cropped hair, disguised as a Carthusian novice, and 
Francis de Baux, Duke of Andria, who had now 
returned to his allegiance to Joanna — clad in the 
habit of a professed monk of the same Order — set 
forth on foot to make a pilgrimage to Muro, and 
endeavour to obtain admission in this guise to the 
presence of the Queen, on pretence of offering 
her spiritual consolation. 

This romantic tale does not seem to be well 
authenticated, and we doubt if it ever really hap- 
pened ; but as the Italians say, " Si non e vero e 
ben trovato " ; and we can but hope that Joanna's 
last days were soothed by the presence of her 
favourite attendant, whose high spirit and devotion 
to her royal mistress may have given her courage to 
run the grave risk she did if she made this attempt. 

326 The Beautiful Queen 

It is possible, even probable, that the Duke of 
Andria may have earnestly desired an interview 
with Joanna unknown to Durazzo, to endeavour 
to persuade her to nominate his son (now married 
to her niece Agnes of Verona), as her heir, and it is 
quite likely he might have taken this step to attain 
it. He may, too, have felt remorse for his former 
rebellion against Joanna, which had been instru- 
mental in bringing her to her present sad condition ; 
he may have desired to ask her forgiveness, and 
consult with her as to some way of attempting her 
rescue ; and the only way to accomplish this was 
to assume some disguise — and in those days that of 
a monk was the safest, and the most likely to obtain 
admission to the royal prisoner. 

In this gloomy castle Joanna was kept in close 
imprisonment for two months, and denied the 
honours due to her high rank, before the final 
tragedy took place. 

At the same time that she was removed from 
Naples, Charles caused her husband, Prince Otho 
of Brunswick, his prisoner-of-war, to be taken to 
the Castle of Altamura, on the extreme west of the 
Basilicata. Joanna asked one favour of her con- 
queror on reaching Castel del Muro, and that was 
not for herself, but the release of her husband, Otho 
of Brunswick ; and this request Durazzo ultimately 
granted after Joanna's death, the account of which 
we must reserve for another chapter. 

The Final Tragedy 

T^OR two months Joanna dragged on a miserable 
A existence in her gloomy prison, cut off from all 
her friends and from holding any communication 
with them, deprived of all the state and splendour 
to which her high rank had accustomed- her, and 
equally deprived of the occupations the duties of 
her regal office afforded, and of the amusements 
for which her brilliant court had so long been 

Added to all these negative trials was the positive 
one of anxiety as to the fate of her husband, Otho of 
Brunswick, to whom she was deeply attached. Life 
had now little to offer her, for she knew her 
captivity was intended by her captor to be life- 

Her time was largely spent in the chapel, praying 
before the altar. She had always been famous for 
her love of devotional exercises and her strict 


328 The Beautiful Queen 

observance of ecclesiastical feasts and ceremonies, 
but now she gave herself up almost entirely to 

Meanwhile the final catastrophe was hastened 
to its ghastly consummation by the appearance of 
part of Louis of Anjou's fleet in the Bay of Naples. 
This arrived in the middle of May from Provence, 
where Louis had collected an army of 35,000 
knights to drive out the usurper and seize upon 
the throne. 

Urban VI. had by this time decided to depose 
Charles Durazzo, who had offended him, and 
daily the Neapolitan nobility were forsaking him 
for Joanna, to whom in her distress they now 
turned, and the universal desire among her sub- 
jects for her restoration became more and more 

The last straw which decided Charles to take 
her life was an embassy from her old enemy, Louis 
of Hungary, Charles's uncle, to congratulate him 
upon his success, and to demand the death of the 
Queen. Louis asked this as the price of his support 
of Charles's cause and as a reward for his past 

Historians differ very much as to the details 
of Joanna's assassination, some even going as far 
as to excuse Charles from conniving at it ; but there 
can be no doubt that he sent the four Hungarian 
soldiers who actually accomplished the foul deed 

The Final Tragedy 329 

to Muro for the purpose of murdering his aunt and 
foster-mother, from whom he had received so many 
favours and benefits. He dared not trust its per- 
formance to any Neapolitan — he could not easily 
have found one so base as to attempt it — and so he 
chose four of his rude Hungarian soldiers, whose 
hatred of Joanna and of all Neapolitans was intense, 
and to whom the barbarous crime was a most 
congenial task, while their master, Louis of Hungary, 
who had always obstinately believed that Joanna 
had been an accomplice in the murder of his brother, 
Andrew of Hungary, looked upon it as a tardy act 
of just retribution. 

" Let Joanna die the same death which Andrew 
suffered through her," he wrote to Charles. 

Some accounts of the manner of Joanna's murder 
say that she was smothered in bed with pillows, 
others — and these are the most frequent — that she was 
strangled. The version we are about to give, which 
seems the most reliable, is taken from the works 
of Urban's secretary, Theodoric de Niem, who was 
at Naples during the time her remains were exposed 
to public view, and no doubt had ample opportunities 
for learning the truth. 

It seems that on the morning of May 22nd, the 
captive Queen, who was now treated like a common 
prisoner, went to the chapel for her devotions, as 
was her habit at this time, when the four Hungarian 
soldiers secretly entered, and while two guarded the 

33° The Beautiful Queen 

door the other two crept up to the kneeling Queen, 
and throwing a silken cord round her neck, strangled 
her instantly. 

The only redeeming feature in this ghastly, cruel 
murder is that it was done quickly before the poor, 
helpless Queen had time to realise their intention; 
possibly before she even saw her murderers they had 
done their work. 

Probably Joanna had during these seven or eight 
weeks at Muro prepared herself for death ; her 
prayers had doubtless obtained her the pardon she 
sought for her past transgressions, and at the 
moment of death she was in the act of prayer. 
There can be little doubt she was well prepared to 
meet that great and most just Judge who alone 
knows the secrets of all hearts. 

When the news of her death was brought to 
Charles, he ordered that her body should be taken 
to the Church of St. Clare in Naples, and placed 
in the choir there and exposed to the view of all 
her people, that they might see her for themselves 
that she was truly dead, and by that sad sight be 
convinced that any further efforts to restore her to 
her throne were in vain. 

At the expiration of the eight days during which 
she lay in state, she was interred in this same church 
between the sacristy and the tomb of her late father, 
the Duke of Calabria. Round it is sculptured a 
Latin inscription to this effect : 

From an engraving by J . Tt\ Cook. 

In the Church of St. Clair at Naples. 
P- 33°] 

The Final Tragedy 331 

" Here lies Joanna I., the illustrious Queen of Naples, 

Happy at first, afterwards exceedingly to be pitied. 

To Charles a daughter, tortured by another Charles, 

She suffered death before her husband." 

1832. May XXVII. 1 

She was in the fifty-sixth year of her age, and the 
thirty-ninth of her reign, when she was thus done to 
death by her implacable enemy, Louis of Hungary, 
and her ungrateful adopted son, Charles III., whose 
name was execrated all over Europe as a matricide 
when the news of Joanna's murder transpired. The 
sad spectacle of her dead body in the Church of 
St. Clare had quite the contrary effect to that which 
Charles had hoped and intended to create. Even 
those who had before been indifferent to her fate 
were moved to compassion for her sufferings by the 
sight of her corpse, and so indignant at Charles's 
cruelty and ingratitude that they refused to submit 
any longer to . his rule ; while those who had ever 
been faithful to Joanna were now so exasperated 
against Charles that they swore vengeance against 
him, and joined the forces of Louis of Anjou. 

Thus perished Joanna of Naples, one of the most 
beautiful and most maligned of women, whose 
praises, as we have seen, have been sung by the most 

1 Inclyta Parthenones, jacet hie Regina Joanna 

Prima, prius felix, mox miseranda nimis : 

Quam Carlo genitam mulctavit Carolus alter, 

Qua morte ilia virum sustulit ante suum. 

MCCCLXXXII. XII. Maij V. Indict. 

Camera. Giovanna I e Carlo III. Salerno, 1889. 

33 2 The Beautiful Queen 

celebrated men of her time, by Petrarch and Boccaccio, 
and who is known to this day to the Neapolitan boat- 
men, and has always been spoken of by Provencal 
historians, as " the Good Queen Jeanne I." 

There will always be a difference of opinion 
among historians as to her merits, and the death of 
Andrew of Hungary will ever remain one of the 
unsolved mysteries of history ; the only thing that 
seems certain about it being that Joanna had no part 
in it, as not only her acquittal at the court of 
Clement VI., but also her great grief at the time, 
and her great clemency to all conclusively show. 

Her beauty, her majestic presence, her moving 
eloquence, her fascinating personality are now 
things of the past, as dead to us as last year's 
roses ; but the spell which she cast in her lifetime 
over all who came in contact with her is immortal and 
still clings to her name, and, as we have endeavoured 
to show, makes her one of the most interesting 
characters in history. 

It is not our purpose to describe the subsequent 
struggle between Charles Durazzo and Louis of 
Anjou, or the scarcely less bitter contest between 
the Pope, Urban VI., and his former protege. We 
shall merely content ourselves with saying briefly 
what became of the principal persons who have 
figured in this historical tragedy, of which the 
central figure was the great 'Sicilian Queen. 

Her husband, Otho of Brunswick, was liberated 

The Final Tragedy 333 

by Charles two years after her death, and in reward 
for some advice which he had given Durazzo, 
Charles conferred upon him the principality of 
Taranto. Some years later, when Louis II. of Anjou 
grew up, Otho, with the aid of the Sanseverini, 
succeeded in placing him upon the Neapolitan throne ; 
and when Louis refused to live in Naples, the Prince 
of Brunswick was offered the title and office of 
Viceroy, but he yielded it to Sanseverini. He died 
in Foggia in 1398, having survived Joanna fifteen 

Joanna's lifelong enemy, Louis, King of Hungary, 
survived her only four months ; he was surnamed 
the Great, and was deeply mourned by the Hun- 
garians, who lost in him a good, brave, and wise 
king, as celebrated for his victories in the field of 
battle as for his private virtues, which together 
earned him this title. In his dealings with Joanna 
he allowed his natural affections for his brother 
Andrew to overpower his sense of justice. 

In the year following the assassination of Joanna, 
Louis of Anjou, having in vain endeavoured to 
provoke Charles Durazzo to an engagement outside 
the walls of Barletto, withdrew with his army to 
Bari, where a fever of a pestilential character broke 
out in his camp, to which he succumbed on Septem- 
ber the 2 1 st, in his forty-seventh year. He left two 
sons, the elder of whom, Louis II., succeeded him, 
and for a short time occupied the Neapolitan throne. 

334 The Beautiful Queen 

Charles Durazzo was lying dangerously ill of fever 
at the time of Louis's death, but he recovered, and 
as soon as he had settled affairs in Naples, which 
Louis's death facilitated, he went to Hungary in 
answer to an invitation from some of the Hungarians 
to assume the crown. Here, after much plotting 
and scheming on his side and counterplotting on the 
part of the Dowager Queen Elizabeth and Maria, 
who had been proclaimed " King " of Hungary on 
the death of her father, whose only child she was, he 
was foully murdered on February 7th, 1386. 

A soldier in the pay of the Dowager Queen 
Elizabeth struck him with a sword as he was in 
the act of reading a letter, half severing his head 
from his body. He lingered in great pain for two 
days, and was finally smothered, as he showed signs 
of recovering. 

Thus retributive justice was dealt to the murderer 
of Joanna in the prime of his life, for he was just 
forty-one when the avenging angel overtook him. 
As his quarrel with Pope Urban VI. had led to his 
excommunication, he was denied Christian burial. 

Charles III. was a little man, with fair hair and a 
ruddy and smiling countenance ; he was affable and 
very popular ; he was very generous to his partisans, 
and a great patron of men of letters. He had many 
good qualities ; he was a very brave and most 
accomplished soldier. But his cruel ingratitude to 
his foster-mother, against whom, no doubt, his uncle, 

The Final Tragedy 


Louis of Hungary, greatly prejudiced him, has 
made a blot on his fair name which can never be 

And here we take leave of this great but unhappy 
Queen, who has so often and so aptly been called 
the Neapolitan Mary Queen of Scots, whom she 
resembled so much in some respects, notably in 
her beauty and her misfortunes and in the mystery 
which surrounds the assassination of Andrew of 
Hungary and of Darnley. A parallel might also 
be drawn between the conduct of Charles Durazzo 
and the Earl of Murray. 

Both these unhappy Queens will ever have their 
admirers and their detractors, for their beauty 
and their charm aroused envy among their con- 
temporaries as well as admiration, and brought them 
both cruel enemies as well as enthusiastic friends. 

May we venture to hope that our readers, as far 
as Joanna of Sicily is concerned, will rank among 
the latter ? 

(Benealoai? of tbe Hnaevine jfamtrg. 

d. 1285. ! 

Charles II. m. = Maria of Hungary. 
d. 1309. 

Hungarian Link. 





House of Taranto, 

House of Durazzo. 

Charles Martel m. = Beatrice of Hapsburg. St. Louis, Robert the Wise m. =f 1. Violante of Aragon. 

Bishop of 1278-1342. I 2. Sancha of Aragon, d. 1344. 

Toulouse, i 

(') (2) 1273-1296. (i)_ I 

Canrobert m. v Elizabeth of Poland, dementia. 
(1) I (a) (3) 

Charles, Duke of Calabria m. =f t. Catherine of Austria. 
d. 1329. I 2. Maria of Valois. 

(I) ' I 


Louis the Great, Stephen. Andrew m. 
King of Hungary, b. 1326; 

1320-1382. d. 1345. 

JOANNA. JOANNA I. , Queen of Naples m. = i, Andrew of Hungary. Maria m. = 1, Charles, Duke 

Canrobert, d. in infanc}'. 



Canrobert, d. in infancy. 


6. 1329. 



I I 

I*ran~esca, */. in infancy. Catherine, d. in infancy. 


2. Louis of Taranto, 1325-1362. 

3. (1364) James, King of Majorca, 

d. 1366. 
4- (i374) Otho, Prince of Bruns- 
wick, d. 1393. 


of Durazzo. 
2. Philip of Ta- 


Philip of Taranto m. = Margaret of Coartenai. 

(2) ! , (3) 


Charles I., Duke of Durazzo m, == Agnes of Perigord. 

(1) (2) ! (3) 

Robert m. Marie, Louis m. = JOANNA I. Ijhilip m. Maria of Sicily, Margaret Charles II. m. 

dau. of Duke of King of 
Bourbon. Naples 



in 1347 Joanna's sister, widow of in. Duke 

Queen of C[harles,Duke of Durazzo. of Andria. 



Francesca, Catherine, 

both d. in infancy. 





Maria of Loui3 ;;/. 


Margaret Robert, 
of Sanse- killed in 
verini. battle. 

LorJia. d. in Joanna, Duchess Agnes m, Margaret m. — Charles 111. T f Margaret, 

infancy. of Durazzo, m. 1. Can della Scala. Queen of 1344-1386 j Joanna's niece and 

Robert of Artois. 2. John of Andria. Naples. Kingof Naples. 1 adopted child. 


Ladislas, King of Naples, d. 1414. 

Louis, d. in irfancy. Joanna, Duchess of Durazzo, Agnes, in. 1. Can della Scala, Duke of Austria. Margaret, Joanna's adopted daughter, 

m. Robert of Artois ; d. in prison. 2. John I. of Andria ; d. in prison. m. Charles III. 

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" Historical Life of Joanna of Sicily." Anonymous. London, 

1824. 2 vols. 
" Scenes in the Life of Joanna of Naples." Mrs. E. F. Ellet. 

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i. and ii. Paris, 1896. 
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" Old Provence." Cook. 
"European History." Lodge. 

" Les Papes." Marin de Boylesve, SJ. Tours. 1893. 
" Rulers of the South." Marion Crawford. 
" Italian Republics." J. C. L. de Sismondi 
" Clemens VI." Baluzio. Vol. ii. 


Acciajuoli, Angelo, Bp. of Flor- 
ence, 138 et sqq., 148, 151 

Acciajuoli, Nicholas, 123, 125, 
138, 151, 197, 223, 228 ; his 
birth and position, 39, 40 ; 
and Joanna and Andrew, 51 ; 
his promotion to be Grand 
Seneschal, 79 ; and Andrew's 
murder, 83, 93 ; and Joanna's 
captivity at Aix, 141 ; has 
audience with Clement VI., 
148, 156 ; and the invasion 
of Louis of Hungary, 169 ; 
and Petrarch, 195 ; and the 
war in Sicily, 200, 203 ; and 
the truce with King Frederick, 
211 ; his death foretold by 
St. Bridget, 225 ; his death, 
226-7 ; an( i Boccaccio, 251 

Adrian IV., Pope, 117 

Agnes of Durazzo (Princess of 
Verona), 135 et sqq., 242-3, 
289, 303, 318-19 

Alferino of Salerno, 272-3 

Americus, Cardinal, 69-70 

Andrew of Hungary (Joanna's 
first husband), 4, 67 ; his 
murder, 3, 79, 84 et sqq., 100- 
i, 109, no, 184, 186, 209, 
223, 329 ; his early marriage, 
23 et sqq. ; his imbecility, 24- 
5, 28, 31, 64 ; and King 
Robert's will, 40 et sqq. ; his 
coarseness, 45, 51, 78, 90; as- 
cends the throne with Joanna, 
48 ; and Friar Robert's plot- 
ting, 49 et sqq. ; and the Court 
of Love, 62-3 ; and the 
Pipini brothers, 63 ; and 

Joanna's coronation, 69 ; stays 
at Aversa, 80 et sqq. ; his 
burial in Naples Cathedral, 
89 ; his death avenged by 
Louis, 130 et sqq. 

Andrew of Isernia, 233 

Andria, Francis de Baux, Duke 
of : his marriage to Louis of 
Taranto's sister, 173-4, 2 4^ '< 
his rebellion against Joanna, 
263 et sqq., 279, 280 ; and 
Charles of Durazzo, 287, 299 ; 
returns to Joanna's cause, 
319, 320, 325-6 

Angelo of Perugia, 94, 233 

Anselmo, 269 

Ariano, Count of, 310-n, 320 

Artus, Charles, 41, 79, 84, 92, 
106-7, J 3 2 

Austria, Duke of, 5 

Aversa, Castle of, 80-1, 133, 261 

Aversa, Count of, 321 

Avignon, Petrarch at, 34 et sqq. ; 
Papal Court at, 72 et sqq., 138 
et sqq., 210, 224, 236, 244, 291 ; 
the plague at, 161 et sqq. 

Baddeley, Mr., 230 

Baldassero of Brunswick, 310-11 

Baldus of Perugia, 94, 233 

Balliol, Edward, 76 

Barbatus of Sulmone, 37, 43, 99 

Barrili, John, 37, 227 

Barruto, Abbot (Archbp. of 

Naples), 291, 295 
Baux, Hugh de, 101, 103 
Baux, Raimond de, 125, 197, 

200, 265-6 
Baux, Rinaldo de, 182 




Benedict XII., Pope, 75, 115 

Beni, Due de, 148 

Bernard of Rhodes, 295 

Bianca of Sicily, Princess, 199, 

Bianchi, the, 30 

Birel, John, 193 

Birger of Sweden, Prince, 252 
et sqq. 

Blanche of Dampierre, Princess, 

Blanche, Queen of Sweden, 223 

Boccaccio, Giovanni, 2, 4, 19, 
37. 43. 79, 196, 208, 235, 332 ; 
meets Maria of Sicily, 38 ; 
his birth, 39 ; his works, 39 ; 
his account of Joanna, 106, 
233 ; his account of the 
plague in Florence, 167 ; and 
the brigands, 231 ; his "De- 
cameron, " 247 et sqq. ; warned 
by Father Ciani, 249 ; be- 
comes a priest, 250-1 ; and 
Nicholas Acciajuoli's treat- 
ment of, 251 ; his death, 252 ; 
his commentary on the 
" Divina Commedia," 252 

Bondone, Giotto de, 207-8 

Boniface IX., Pope, 274 

Braganza, Bp. of, 189 

Brantdme, 221 ; his account of 
Joanna's beauty, 43-4 

Bridget of Sweden, St., 78, 193, 
236, 271-2 ; her piety, 223-4, 
270 ; works miracles, 225 ; 
and Nicholas Acciajuoli's 
death, 225-6 ; and Pope 
Urban's return to Avignon, 
244-5 ; her second visit to 
Naples, 252 ; and her two 
sons, 253-4 > received by the 
Queen, 254-5 ; and Prince 
Charles's infatuation for Jo- 
anna, 255 et sqq. ; and her 
son's death, 258 ; goes to the 
Holy Land, 258 ; and the 
Plague at Naples, 258-9 ; her 
letter to the Queen, 259, 260 ; 
receives a present of money 
from Joanna, 261 ; her death 
at Rome, 261-2 ; her canonis- 
ation, 274-86 

Brunelleschi, 207 

Buondelmonte, Countess, 223 

Bury, Richard de (Bp. of Dur- 
ham), 37 
Byron, Lord, 78 

Cabassole, Bp. of Cavaillon, 
Philip de, 41, 71-1, 79, 96 et 

Cajetano Onerato, 281-2, 295 

Canrobert, King of Hungary, 6, 
23 et sqq., 40-1, 108 

Canrobert, Prince (son of Jo- 
anna), 98 et sqq., 122, 124, 
130, 134, 181 

Caraccioli, his Life of Joanna, 

19. 130 

Casimir, King of Poland, 193 

Catania, Raymond of, 85 

Catherine of Austria (first wife 
of Charles, Duke of Calabria), 

Catherine of Siena, St., 78, 221- 
2, 224-5, 252, 270 et sqq., 
285 et sqq., 293-4 

Chabannes, Raimond de, 18 

Charles I. of Anjou, 5 

Charles, Duke of Calabria (father 
of Joanna), 17, 331 ; his 
justice, 8, 9, 206 ; his journey 
to Florence, 10, n ; his 
death, 14 

Charles, Duke of Durazzo 
(nephew of King Robert of 
Naples), 74, 179 ; his marriage 
to Maria of Sicily, 66 et sqq., 
7 and Andrew's murder, 
83, 92, 102, 117; rebels 
against Joanna, 107, 120 ; 
and Joanna's second mar- 
riage, 113 ; murdered by 
Louis of Hungary, 129 et sqq., 

137. 187 
Charles, Duke of Durazzo (son 
of Prince Louis), 267 ; adopted 
by Joanna, 202-3, 2 39 '• his 
marriage to Margaret of Du- 
razzo, 203, 242 et sqq. ; joins 
Louis of Hungary, 239, 266, 
279, 292 ; and Joanna's 
second marriage, 269 ; his 
attempts to depose Joanna, 
287, 293, 295-6, 298 et sqq. ; 
his entry into Naples, 301, 



304 et sqq. ; and Prince Otho's 
strategy, 306-7 ; his assur- 
ances to Joanna, 308, 312 et 
sqq. ; enters Castel Nuovo, 
311 ; and Joanna's appointed 
successor, 317-18 ; crowned 
King of Naples, 319 ; his 
difficulties, 320 ; his treat- 
ment of Joanna, 324 et sqq, ; 
and the murder of Joanna, 
328 et sqq. ; liberates Otho, 
333 ; his murder, 334 ; his 
excommunication, 334 ; his 
appearance, 334 

Charles V. of France, 292, 296-7, 
318, 320 

Charles IV. of Germany, 74-5, 

Charles Martel (son of Charles 
II.), 6-7, 64, 71, 119 

Charles II. of Naples, 213, 239 

Charles of Sweden, Prince, 252 
et sqq. 

Ciani, Father Joachim, 249 

Cicely, Duchess of Turenne, 

Clare, St., Church of (Avignon), 

Clare, St., Church and Monas- 
tery of (Naples), 15, 20, 38, 
42, 64, 65, 67, 206 et sqq., 282, 

323. 330-1 

Clement IV., 5 

Clement VI., Pope, 131, 211, 
235, 241, 246 ; his belief in 
Joanna's innocence, 4, 42, 
9$etsqq., 115, 169, 171; and 
Maria's marriage, 67 ; and 
Joanna's coronation, 69, 72 ; 
and Joanna's wish to govern, 
70, 71 ; his love of pomp, 73 ; 
and the Jews, 74 ; his court 
at Avignon, 142, 145 et sqq. ; 
his attire, 153 ; Joanna pleads 
her cause to, 155 et sqq., 315 ; 
and the Mendicant Friars, 
164-5 ; and the Flagellants, 
166 ; and Louis of Taranto's 
coronation, 170 ; and Louis of 
Hungary, 184-5 ; and the 
Neapolitan succession, 185 ; 
his death, 191 ; his character, 

Clement VII., the anti-Pope, I 

315, 322 ; Joanna's partisan- 
ship for, 3, 281, 285, 290, 307 ; 
at war with Pope Urban VI., 
286, 288 ; goes to Castel del 
Ovo, 288 et sqq. ; his recep- 
tion by Joanna, 289 ; flees 
to Gaeta, 291 ; and Louis of 
Anjou, 298 ; Durazzo con- 
sults with, 321 

Collennucci, Clemence di, 325 

Colonna, Cardinal, 34, 52-3, 

Conradine, 5 

Constantinople, Empress of. 
See Princess of Taranto 

Convulsionnaires, the; 143 

Costanzo, 30, 51, 86, 269 

Crillon, 142-3 

Crispano, Landolpho, 255 

Dancers, the, 144 
Dante, 8, 38, 196, 248 
Damley, Lord, 335 
David II. of Scotland, 76 
Durazzo, Duke of (son of 

Charles II. of Naples), 6, 10, 


Edward III. of England, 75-6, 

Edward, Prince of Wales, 216 

et sqq. 
Evoli, Count d', 49, 84-5, 91, 


Faliero Marino, 78 
Flagellants, the, 165 
Flavio, Gioja, 235 
Folard, Chevalier, 143 
Fondi, Count of, 320 
Francesca, Princess, 181-2, 190 
Frederick Barbarossa, 117 
Frederick of Sicily, 196 et sqq., 

211, 246 
Frederick II. of Swabia, 5 
Froissart, 215 et sqq., 230 



Galeazzo of Mantua, 219 
Ghibellines, the, 29, 77, 165 
Giannone, 4, 324 
Gifione, Cardinal de, 323 
Giovanni of Pisa, 207 
Gravina, Bp. of, 246 
Gregory XI., Pope, 246, 252, 
254, 265-6, 270-1, 273 et sqq. 
Guelphs, The, 29, 77, 140, 165 
Guinguene, 248 


Hawkwood, Sir John, 295 
Henry IV. of France, 143 
Henry of Transtamare, 217 

Innocent VI., Pope, 194-5, 210 

Innocent VII., Pope, 75 

Isolda (Andrew's nurse), 82, 85 

et sqq. 
Itro, Cardinal d', 323 

James I. of Aragon, 213 
James II. of Aragon, 213 
James I. of Majorca, 213 
James II. of Majorca, 213-14 
James III. of Majorca, 226 ; his 
descent, 213 ; his marriage to 
Joanna, 215, 223 ; his military 
exploits, 215 et sqq.; his death, 
Jerome, St., 250 
Joanna, Duchess of Durazzo, 
135 et sqq., 287, 289, 303, 
305-6, 318-19 
Joanna, Queen of Naples : 
her biographers, 1, 3, 4 
her beauty, 1, 2, 30-1, 43 et 
sqq., 106, 122 et sqq., 233, 

her birth, 12 et sqq. 
her attendants, 17 et sqq. 
her early years, 19 et sqq. 
her education, 22, 30 
oaths of allegiance to, 22, 31-2 
her marriage with Andrew of 

Hungary, 23 et sqq. 

Joanna, Queen of Naples (cont.) : 
and King Robert's will, 40 et 

and King Robert's death, 42 
her supposed portrait, 44-5 
proclaimed Queen, 48 
and Friar Robert's plotting, 

49, 5° 
and Louis of Taranto, 51-2 
her talent and learning, 55 
and the great tempest, 59 
her " Court of Love," 61 et sqq. 
and Andrew's boorishness, 

62-3, 78 
and Maria's marriage, 69 
her wish to govern, 70-1 
her coronation, 72, 84 
stays at Aversa, 80 et sqq. 
and Andrew's murder, 86 et 

sqq., 100-1, 103, 109 et sqq., 

184, 186, 209 
her letters to King Louis, 88, 

93. IQI 
gives birth to a son, and the 

execution of Philippa, 104 et 

her queenly bearing, 106, 211, 

and the civil war, 107 
her second marriage, to Louis 

of Taranto, 114- 15 
calls a council, 120-1 
her speech, 121-2 
taken prisoner to Aix, 125 et 

sqq., 148-9 
and her governors, 128 
receives Maria and her chil- 
dren, 137-8 
and the Papal Court, 138, 141 
her release, 148 
her triumphant entry into 

Avignon, 149 et sqq. 
her reception by the Pope, 

155 et sqq. 
her gift of oratory, 159, 315 
her defence, 159 
her acquittal, 159, 160 
receives the Golden Rose, 

160-1, 241 
her subjects invite her to 

return to Naples, 168 et sqq. 
her reception at Naples, 172 
and her sister-in-law's mar* 

riage. 173-4 



Joanna, Queen of Naples {cont.) : 
rewards Nicholas Acciajuoli, 


her gay court, 175, 203 

birth of her daughters, 181 

and de Baux, 182-3 

her second trial, 184 

and the succession, 185, 238-9, 
243-4, 292 

her coronation, 186 et sqq., 196 

death of her little daughter, 

and death of Clement VI., 197 

crowned Queen of Sicily at 
Messina, 197 

and the King of Sicily's sisters, 
199, 200 

and the civil war, 200-1 

pardons Louis of Durazzo, 202 

adopts Charles of Durazzo as 
her heir, 202 

adopts Maria's daughter. Prin- 
cess Margaret, 203 

and Louis' death, 203 

her widowhood, 204 et sqq. 

builds churches and institu- 
tions, 206-7 

her piety, 206, 309, 327 et sqq. 

as a ruler, 208, 232 

and Philip of Taranto, 211-12 

her suitors, 212 

her third marriage to James 
of Majorca, 214 

her husband's absence, 215 et 

and Galeazzo's admiration for, 

and Galeazzo's knights, 220 

receives St. Bridget of Sweden, 

her piety, 224 

sends out an army against 
Ambrose Visconti, 229 et sqq. 

and the death of her husband, 

suppresses brigandage, 231 

her advisers, 233 

celebrities of her reign, 235 

visits Pope Urban V. at Rome, 
238 et sqq. 

and Charles of Durazzo's in- 
gratitude, 239, 266, 287 

favoured by the Pope, 240 et 

Joanna, Queen of Naples (cont.) : 

and Peter of Lusignan, 242 

her affection for Charles of 
Durazzo, 243 

and the independence of 
Sicily, 246 

and Prince Charles of Swe- 
den's admiration for, 252 et 

and Prince Charles's funeral, 

St. Bridget's letter to, 259, 260 

her present of money to St. 
Bridget, 261 

and St. Bridget's death, 262 

and Duke of Andria's rebel- 
lion, 263 et sqq. 

her fourth marriage to Prince 
Otho of Brunswick, 267 et 

and St. Catherine, 272, 286-7 

her regard for Urban VI., 

and Cardinal Orsini, 280 

supports the anti-pope, Clem- 
ent VII., 281, 288, 294 

Urban VI. 's enmity to, 280, 

her mission to Rome, 282 

her anger at Urban's insults, 

receives Clement VII. at 
Castel del Ovo, 28S et sqq. 

excommunicated by Urban 
VI., 294 

elects Louis of Anjou as her 
successor, in place of Charles 
of Durazzo, 296, 298 

and Charles Durazzo's ad- 
vance on Naples, 295 et sqq. 

retires to Castel del Nuovo, 
303 et sqq. 

her privations, 304 et sqq. 

and Joanna of Durazzo's 
offering, 306 

her surrender to Charles, 311 
et sqq., 319 

her speech to Charles, 312 

her speech to the Provencal 
barons, 315 et sqq. 

removed to Castel del Ovo, 

taken to Castel del Muro, 324 
and her maid of honour, 325 



Joanna, Queen of Naples (cont.) : 

her affection for her husband, 

her murder, 329 et sqq. 

her lying-in-state, 330-1 

her epitaph, 331 

compared with Mary, Queen 
of Scots, 335 
John of Bohemia, Prince, 24 
John I. of France, 126, 194, 212, 

John XXII., Pope, 7, 20, 23, 31, 


Landuccio, Neri di, 287 
Laura. See Laura de Sades 
Louis of Anjou, adopted by 
Joanna as her heir, 287, 292, 
296, 305, 314, 316 ; declared 
Regent of France, 297, 320-1 ; 
Joanna seeks his aid, 299 ; 
his valour and costly collec- 
tions, 318 ; his fleet in the 
Bay of Naples, 328, 331 ; his 
struggles with Charles of 
Durazzo, 332 et sqq. 
Louis, Prince of Durazzo, 200 

et sqq. 
Louis XIV. of France, 143 
Louis IV. of Germany, 74 et sqq., 

115. I9i 
Louis, King of Hungary, 149, 
228, 239, 242, 244, 266, 279 ; 
his proposed marriage to 
Princess Maria, 40, 64, 66 et 
sqq., 109 ; and his brother 
Andrew's murder, 88, 92 et 
sqq., 130 et sqq., 185-6, 329, 
332 ; Joanna's letters to, 88, 
101-2 ; invades Joanna's do- 
minions, 108, 116 et sqq., 128 ; 
his letters to Joanna, 109, 
in ; demands Naples, 115 ; 
accuses Joanna, 115 ; his 
treachery, 129 ; murders the 
Duke of Durazzo, 132-3, 135 ; 
abducts Prince Canrobert, 
134 ; his ambassadors at 
Avignon, 155 ; retreats from 
Naples, 168 ; enters Apulia, 
180 ; challenged by Louis of 
Taranto, 180; and the siege of 
Aversa, 181 ; enters Naples, 

183 ; and the Pope's com- 
mands, 184 ; and the Treaty 
of Peace, 185 et sqq. ; and 
Joanna's death, 328-9, 331 ; 
his death, 333 

Louis, Prince of Taranto (Jo- 
anna's second husband), 3, 40, 
52, 62, 83, 107, 125, 131, 148, 
160, 195, 229 ; his personal 
appearance, 51, 112, 175 ; and 
Andrew's murder, 92 ; his 
love for Joanna, 113 ; his 
marriage, 114 et sqq., 223; 
fights against Louis of Hun- 
gary, 118 et sqq. ; forbidden 
to enter Florence, 140 ; sails 
for Provence, 141 ; enters 
Avignon in state, 151, 161 ; 
received by the Pope, 156 ; 
his coronation, 171, 186 et sqq. 
returns to Naples with Jo- 
anna, 171 ; his popularity, 
175 ; his profligacy, 175 ; and 
Warner and Wolf, 176 et sqq. ; 
kills Rinaldo de Baux, 183 ; 
and the succession, 185 ; 
thrown from his horse, 189, 
190 ; crowned King of Sicily, 
197 ; returns to Naples, 201 ; 
his vices, 203-4 ; his death, 
203, 209 et sqq. 

Louis, St. (Bp. of Toulouse), 6, 7 

Ludovico, Antonio, Count of 
Caserta, 313 et sqq., 317, 321 

Luke of Isemia, 233 

Magnus II. of Sweden, 24, 223, 

Malateca, Giovanni, 229 
Manfred, 5 
Margaret of Durazzo, Princess, 

203, 243, 269, 289, 293 
Margaret, Queen of Sweden, 24 
Margaret of Taranto, Princess, 

246, 263, 279 
Maria, Duchess of Calabria 

(mother of Joanna), 10 et sqq. ; 

her apartments, 12 et sqq. ; 

birth of a second daughter, 15; 

her death, 16 
Maria, Duchess of Durazzo 

(Joanna's sister), 43, 173, 182, 



242, 287 ; her birth, 15 ; 
and the succession, 22, 40 ; 
her proposed marriage to the 
King of Hungary, 40-1, 64, 
133 ; her marriage to the 
Duke of Durazzo, 67 et sqq., 
72, 79, 109 ; and the throne 
of Naples, 113, 120 ; informed 
of her husband's murder, 135 ; 
flees to Santa Croce, 135-6 ; 
goes to Joanna, 136 et sqq. ; 
marries Prince Philip of Tar- 
anto, 203 ; her death, 238 

Maria of Hungary (wife of 
Charles II. of Naples), 6 

Maria of Sicily (daughter of 
King Frederick), 282 

Maria of Sicily (King Robert's 
natural daughter), 38 

Martini, Simon, 208 

Mary, Queen of Scots, 1, 43, 335 

Masuccios, the Two, 207-8 

Milan, Duke of, 215 

Minervino Count de, 116, 172, 
178, 201-2 

Mirazzano, Michael de, 84, 102 

Molta, Bertram della, 188 

Montferrat, Marquis of, 282 

Montoni, Countess of. See Phil- 
lipa the Catanese 

Moriale, Fra (Montreal d'Al- 
bano), 179, 180 

Muratori, 87 

Muro, Castle of, 94, 324 et sqq. 

Murray, Earl of, 335 


Neri, the, 30 

Nericia, Princess of. See St. 

Bridget of Sweden 
Nicholas of Hungary (governor 

of Andrew), 27, 49, 62, 91, 

108, 116 
Nicholas of Naples, 233 
Nicholas of Pisa, 207 
Niem, Theodoric de, 329 
Nuovo Castel, 288 ; the siege 

at, 303 et sqq. 


Orlando, Prince of Aragon, 

Orsini, Cardinal, 277, 279, 285 

Orsini, Giovanni, 295, 297 

Orsini, Rinaldo, 295, 297 

Orsini, Robert, 273 

Orsini, the, 30, 52 

Otho of Brunswick, Prince (Jo- 
anna's fourth husband), 271, 
297, 312 ; meets Joanna, 267 ; 
his marriage, 268 ; and Pope 
Urban VI., 280, 283-4 ; his 
bravery, 298 ; fights against 
Charles of Durazzo, 298 et 
sqq. ; and the besieged Queen 
306 et sqq. ; taken prisoner by 
Charles of Durazzo, 326 ; 
liberated by Charles, 333 ; 
his death, 333 

Ovo, Castel del, 124, 254, 268j 
288 et sqq., 296, 318 

Pace, Jacobo de, 84, 92, 102 
Paris of Pozzuoli, 235 
Paul of Perugia, 7, 37-8 
Pedro III. of Aragon, 213 
Pedro IV. of Aragon, 213 
Pedro I. of Spain (the Cruel), 

77, 195, 216 et sqq. 
Peter Damien, St., 47 
Peter of Lusignan, King of 

Cyprus, 240-42 
Petrarch, 2, 4, 28, 31, 50, 83, 
150, 196, 235, 332 ; his 
writings, 33 et sqq. ; his ap- 
pearance and accomplish- 
ments, 33-4 ; his love for 
Laura, ^etsqq., 162-3; hi s 
great learning, 36 ; wins the 
laurel crown, 36 ; his 
" Africa," 37 ; and King 
Robert's death, 42-3 ; his 
description of Naples, 53-4 ; 
his preferment, 55 ; and the 
great tempest, 55 et sqq. ; and 
the gladiatorial combats, 60- 
1 ; and the Court of Love, 62 ; 
his epitaph on King Robert, 
65 ; and Clement VI., 73 ; 
and Andrew, 90 ; and Jo- 
anna's innocence, 94, 99 ; 
visited by the Bp. of Flor- 
ence, 138 et sqq. ; and the 
Papal Court, 145, 193 ; and 



Pope Innocent VI., 194 ; and 
Zanobi's laurel crown, 195 ; 
and the quarrel between Ac- 
ciajuoli and Barrili, 227 ; his 
admiration for Joanna, 247 ; 
and Boccaccio's library, 250 ; 
his death, 252 
Petroni, Father, 249, 250 
Philip de Valois (King of France), 

16, 75, 126 
Philippa the Catanese, 3, 50, 68 ; 
her origin, 17, 19, 22 ; takes 
charge of Joanna, 17 et sqq. ; 
her second marriage, 18 ; pro- 
moted by Joanna, 48 ; and 
the Princess of Taranto, 51, 
69 ; and the murder of An- 
drew, 83, 91, 103 ; her execu- 
tion, 104-5 
Philip of Taranto (Louis of 
Taranto's younger brother), 
203, 263 
Philip, Duke of Tours, 212, 228 
Piero, Cardinal, 277, 285 
Pierre de Luna, Cardinal, 277 
Pipini, the, 52, 63, 90, 201-2 
Pius V., Pope, 153 
Prignano, Francisco, 280, 282, 
296, 299 


Raimond of Capua, 286 

Raimond the Moor (second 
husband of Philippa the Ca- 
tanese), 18 

Rastrelli, 86 

Ravignano, 291 

Richard II. of England, 216 

Rienzi, Cola de, 74-5, 115-16 

Robert of Artois (afterwards 
Duke of Durazzo), 76, 287, 

Robert, Friar, 31, 69, 70, 78, 81, 
84, 91 ; his characteristics, 
27-8, 43, 50 ; plots against 
Joanna, 49 ; and the Pipini 
brothers, 63 ; his power, 82, 
no ; returns to Hungary, 108 

Robert, Prince of Taranto, 107, 
113, 123 

Robert the Wise (King of 
Naples), 6, 12, 14 et sqq., 79, 
91, 100, 107, 121, 139, 185, 

208, 232 ; his ascent to the 
throne, 7 ; his' learning, 7, 
32 ; and the Duke of Cala- 
bria's death, 14 ; and the 
church of St. Clare, 15, 206-7 ; 
and Philippa the Catanese, 
1 7 et sqq. ; and Joanna's early- 
training, 19 et sqq. ; arranges 
a marriage for Joanna, 23 et 
sqq. ; and the oath of alle- 
giance, 22, 31-2 ; and Pe- 
trarch, 36-7 ; his will, 40 et 
sqq., 70 ; his death, 42 ; 
Petrarch's epitaph on, 65 
Rosarno, Angeluccio di, 313 

Sades, Laura de, 34-5, 38, 43, 

142, 162 
Sancha (King Robert of Naples's 
second w&e), 16 et sqq., 41, 
48, 50, 64, 67-8, 70, 103, 206 
Sancha (Philippa's grand- 
daughter), 3, 79, 92, 103 et sqq. 
Sangro, GentUis de, 299, 322 
Sanguineto, Philip of, 41 
Sanseverino, Ugo de, 308 
Savoy, Duke of, 215, 266, 322 
Simon, Count of Chiaramonte, 

196, 199 
Soult, Count de, 125 
Spinelli, Nicholas, 280, 282-3 
Squilazzo, Geoffrey, Count of, 41 
Stephen, Prince, 178-9 
Strada, Zanobi de, 195 
Swinburne, Algernon C., 78 

Talleyrand, Cardinal, 66-7, 193- 

Taranto, Prince of (Louis' elder 

brother), 201, 211-12 
Taranto, Prince of, 10, 22 
Taranto, Princess of (mother 

of Louis), 40, 51, 67, 79, 83, 

93. i°7 
Taranto, Princess of (wife of 

Robert), 123, 125, 246 
Trastevera, Henry of, 77 
Trelice, Count de, 85, 105 
Tropea, Bp. of, 108 
Turinga, Camiola, 197 et sqq. 




Urban V., Pope, 153, 161, 235, 
273 ; and Petrarch's mar- 
riage, 35 ; his friendliness 
towards Joanna, 211 ; and 
Joanna's third marriage, 212 ; 
and St. Bridget, 224 ; and 
the Viscontis, 228-9 ; decides 
to return to Avignon, 244 ; 
his death, 245-6 

Urban VI., Pope, 322, 329 ; his 
enmity towards Joanna, 4, 
94, 279, 250, 295 ; his char- 
acter, 278 ; his haughtiness, 
281 ; his treatment of the 
Cardinals, 281 ; and Joanna's 
embassy, 282-3 ; insults 
Prince Otho, 283-4 ; creates 
twenty-nine new cardinals, 
284-5 ; and Clement VII., 
the anti-pope, 286 et sqq. ; his 
unpopularity, 293 ; excom- 
municates Joanna, 294, 298 ; 
supports Charles of Durazzo, 
295-6, 307, 319 ; tortures the 
rebellious Cardinals, 323-4 ; 

now opposes Charles of Du- 
razzo, 328, 334 

Verona, Princess of. See Agnes 

of Durazzo 
Vico, Francesca de, 285 
Villani, Matthew, 29, 93, 95, 114, 

117, 164 
Vinci, Leonardo da, 44 
Violante (wife of King Robert 

of Naples), 8, 17-18 
Violante of Sicily, Princess, 199, 

Virgil, 36 
Visconti, Ambrose, 228 et sqq., 

257, 268 
Visconti, Barnabas, 228 el sqq. 


Warner, Duke, 17S et sqq. 
Wolf, Conrad, 176 et sqq., 184 

Zurlo, Jacimo, 310-n